Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Anomalia - Anomalia (2020)


Kacper Krupa - tenor saxophone
Krzysztof Kuśmierek - soprano saxophone
Patryk Rynkiewicz - trumpet
Adam Kurek - trombone
Fryderyk Szulgit - guitar
Piotr Cienkowski - double bass
Stanisław Aleksandrowicz - drums



By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by the Polish Jazz septet Anomalia comprising of saxophonists Krzysztof Kuśmierek and Kacper Krupa, trumpeter Patryk Rynkiewicz, trombonist Adam Kurek, guitarist Fryderyk Szulgit, bassist Piotr Cienkowski and drummer Stanisław Aleksandrowicz hailing from the Poznań music scene. Krupa, Cienkowski and Aleksandrowicz are members of the Kwaśny Deszcz trio. The album presents six original compositions, two by Krupa and one each by Rynkiewicz, Szulgit, Krupa and Kuśmierek, although the album's artwork also credits the entire group as co-composers.

The music is based on rough melody themes and then improvised at length featuring individual extended soloing by the septet members. The approach moves between heavy septet sound, with powerful horn section playing riffs and more delicate fragments where the soloists are accompanied more sparsely by the rhythm section. It includes many diverse approaches, which include hypnotic repetition, almost Rocky riffing, group improvisation, unisono brass parts, and other tricks of the trade. If not for the Free Form improvisation the album often sounds like Brass Rock, which is one of my favorite idioms.

As a result the music, which is naturally quite complex, loses some of its compositional focus, which might have enhanced the overall result. It is worth to remember the "less is more" formula, especially in larger ensembles, where the co-existence of many instruments needs extra careful attention to detail in order to avoid confusion. Having said that, the music is certainly very interesting and unique enough to raise eyebrows, offering very individual approach to multi-layered "big Sound", which at its best is nothing short of being spectacular.

It is a joyful event to see or rather hear these young musicians exploring uncharted territory and threading through their individual ideas, rather than copying and recycling familiar messages ad nauseam. Obviously they are just starting a long journey of creativity, but judging by these early steps, they are on the right path. There is a lot of honesty, searching and adventure in this music, which deserves to be praised.

This album is a proud representation of the young Polish Jazz Avant-Garde scene, which keeps surprising by its resourcefulness and ambition, and although a bit soft around the edges, it is a most enjoyable listening experience, showcasing a lot of potential. It is definitely an excellent debut effort - well done Gentlemen!

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