Monday, April 22, 2019

Silberman Quartet - Asanisimasa (2019)

Silberman Quartet

Dorota Zaziąbło - piano, synth
Mateusz Gawęda - piano, synth
Jakub Mielcarek - double bass
Łukasz Stworzewicz - drums


AUDIO CAVE 2019/003

By Adam Baruch

This is the fifth album released under the "Silberman" moniker, this time recorded by a quartet of Polish Jazz musicians: keyboardists Dorota Zaziąbło (who played on the debut album) and Mateusz Gawęda (who played on the third and fourth albums), bassist Jakub Mielcarek (who also played on the previous two albums) and drummer Łukasz Stworzewicz (a.k.a. Silberman). Together they perform seven compositions, four by Stworzewicz, one credited to all four members of the quartet, one of unknown origin and finally one based on a Classical piece by the Tatar-Russian composer Sofia Gubaidulina, which makes me happy that she is finally being discovered by young musicians.

The music is a wild amalgam of stylistic influences, constantly moving between Avant-Garde Jazz, Improvised Music and mainstream Jazz. The double-keyboards lineup opens wide possibilities between the acoustic piano and the synthesizer sounds, which are fascinating and constantly changing. There are some very nice melodic themes scattered between the more open/improvised pieces, which helps to maintain a nice balance and coherent diversity.

Both keyboards players manage to produce a kaleidoscope of sound vistas, which is quite innovative and more importantly they support and complement each other successfully. Mielcarek does a splendid job, both as a rhythmic, Jazz oriented player and as an improviser, including some surprising bow work. Stworzewicz is of course one of the most original drummers on the Polish scene and his work on this album emphasizes his maturity and stylistic freshness.

The album not only offers some superb music and excellent execution, but also a musical and sound concept as a whole. The dark, often minimalist atmosphere and the atypical lineup, combined with the weird/atypical sound of the drums, offer to the listener a whole new experience, which happens relatively rarely. Although not specifically stated as such (except perhaps by the album's artwork), this music definitely offers a musical parallel to the film noir, or perhaps an imaginary soundtrack to an imaginary movie created in that genre. The ambience of uncertainty, apprehension and ambivalence is certainly present within the music, although obviously echoes differently with each listener.

In retrospect this is certainly the most coherent and mature album recorded under the "Silberman" moniker so far, and a truly unique piece of music, which stands out even on the extremely competitive Polish Jazz scene. It should be listened to not only by Jazz listeners, but by all open-minded music connoisseurs, who are always searching for new thrills. Hats off to the Silberman phenomenon.

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