|by Krzysztof Penarski|
It was the first day of this trio's tour and one could see the excitement those musicians felt about the opportunity to play together. And it did transfer into the music, and it was passed to the audience. I really don't know what to begin with. Mikolaj sound on alto is mesmerizing, even at most lyrical ther's the inner tension in the timbre, you could hide entire planets in there, even at his most expansive and screaming, there's something intimate and emotional to what he plays. Olie Brice had a keen ear, able to find notes that were both logical and surprising. And Mark Sanders absolutely brilliant, dense and light at the same time, embedding the sax and bas with polirhythmic clouds of of sounds (lot of plates) that were both rhythmic and melodic, his attention to details unbelievable.
But everyone who knows those musicians know that they can play. Good improvisation needs to be a whole that is more than the sum of its parts, and that was the case. The reactions immediate enough that it was close to telepathy, following instantly the instrument that would assume the leading part (usually the alto, but still that was a very democratic development). The ability to sustain a long, free-form narration, make the development seem natural and organic, through builds and breaks, duo and solo sections. Through moments of pure screaming wild expression and hushed whispers, echoes of swing and soul or abstract jumps and coulurful, textural plays. Until the serene and beautiful encore that seemed like a gospel hymn, with gentle melody (slow, full of air tone on bass clarinet, great harmony chords laid down on bass) and fragile and delicate accents on the plates. With the audience in complete silence and the trio frozen on the stage after the music was over, hanging on to the last echoes of the last sounds, making sure there was no more coming before breaking into the applause.
I know that this texts seems a lot like a repetition of jazz / improvised music cliches. But frankly I don't know what else can I write, the energy, the passion (I challenge anyone for a duel who insists that free improvisation is merely an intellectual workout), the musicianship, the heart, soul and mind being all united in the moment - it was all there. The first set blew me away, the second one kept me in the stratosphere - one of the very best concerts I've seen this year.
If this trio is playing anywhere near you in the next days of the tour - don't miss it.
Ha Tichona Trio:
Mikolaj Trzaska - alto sax, bass clarinet, duduk
Olie Brice - double bass
Mark Sanders - drums
Alchemia. Krakow. 24.05