Saturday, April 16, 2011

Hera - III Lublin Jazz Festival - day 1, concert 1

The debut "Hera" cd by this quartet was one of the best (in my humble oppinion) albums released in 2010. I was expecting a lot from this concert, but still got surprised. As the music slowly and mysteriously came forward from nothingness, introduced by meditative drones on harmonium played by Zimpel. But after this initial movement - peacefull and solemn the band would hit a groove that was irresistible. Bass riffs, clear tonal centres and incessant rhythm, omnipresent. Definitely a new element, completely different music than the one presented on the album - where sorrow and dramatic edge were predominant.
Here we had music that was joyfull and exuberant. Where slow interludes (expanded sonic palette would include metallic sound of a prepared piano or folk instruments) would lead to a groove that was infectious. Mysterious and shamanic would lead to tribal feast. Impressive soloing by all players in the group was second to the interplay they would show, especially the duets between the reed section (bass clarinet - tenor or clarinet - soprano) showed extraordinary chemistry in this group, with Waclaw and Pawel spiralling, entangled lines, a dialogue, not a duel, creating together mesmerizing flows of notes, like an ever-changing sweet harmonies of Steve Reich. Notes dancing around each other in a celebration of life and music. 
Inspired and inspiring performance, a display of great compositions by Zimpel (I assume), fantastic musicianship but most importantly of incredible sensibility. My special nod goes to Ksawery Wojcinski whose playing was sensational, tone deep and woody, soloing imaginative, groove anchor. Plus he surprised everyone with a strong solo on trembita with a mouthpiece - producing a sound close to a trombone. This group is, I'm not afraid to say, among the best I've heard in a while and this new material (I can only hope it will be recorded and released) is a major step forward in its history.

A tremendous start to what would be a fabulous evening, and, I hope,  a great festival.

a fragment of group's concert in Poznan.

Waclaw Zimpel - bass clarinet, clarinet, trembita, harmonium
Pawel Postaremczak - tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, prepared piano, fujara
Ksawery Wojcinski - bass, trembita (with a brass mouthpiece)
Pawel Szpura - drums

Radio Lublin Studio; Lublin; 15.04

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