Sunday, March 22, 2020

Olo Walicki/Jacek Prościński – LLovage (2019)

Olo Walicki/Jacek Prościński

Olo Walicki - bass
Jacek Prościński - drums



By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by Polish Jazz duo LLovage comprising of bassist/composer Olo Walicki and drummer/composer Jacek Prościński, who both use also electronics in addition to their "native" instruments. The album presents seven original compositions, five of which are co-composed by the duo and two are composed by Walicki.

Despite the seemingly limited scope of possibilities a basic rhythm section is able to utilize, this album proves that with a help of electronics and sampling, but more importantly talent and imagination, the duo is able to create a full fledged musical event. Although somewhat minimalistic and sketchy, the fact that the listener is left with the task of connecting the dots makes this music even more interesting.

There is a limited melodic content in this music, and yet it somehow makes perfect sense, combining the acoustic bass/drums sounds with the ambient synthesized sounds, which compliment each other splendidly. The music moves slowly, somewhat hesitantly, which creates an element of internal tension and expectation, keeping the listen on edge but without any nervousness involved.

This album is a great example of a steadily growing trend in European Jazz, which calls for combining contemporary electronics and other sound/recording techniques, many of which are based on utilizing the computer as a fully integrated instrument. This is happening not on the innovative Polish Jazz scene, but almost universally across Europe these days, and has a major impact on the "shape of Jazz to come", which can be hardly ignored today.

Overall this is a bold, fascinating and aesthetically beautiful offering, which is a treasure chest which opens up with each consecutive listening session; definitely a part of the "less is more" approach, which works here perfectly. I presume that conventional Jazz lovers might have a hard time embracing this music, but I highly recommend giving it a try. For the open-minded listeners, who are already familiar with the numerous adventures of Ambient/Electronic Jazz explorations, this album is a must.

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