Best of 2016 #19: AfroFree – “Carpathia” (For-Tune)


The large ensemble AfroFree tethers Carpathia to the folk music traditions of Central Europe, and by incorporating Afro-Jazz rhythms and modern jazz improvisations, it results in music that is strangely hypnotic and immensely tuneful.  A large regiment of wind instruments opens up all kinds of harmonic possibilities, and the ensemble takes advantage of every single one of them.  Potent melodies run throughout the session, and the way that AfroFree uses them as launching points for some lovely harmonic passages is just one of this album’s winning characteristics.  The casual way trombonist Tomasz Ożóg is able to dance a melody through a talkative rhythmic landscape and break from the abiding melodic direction is emblematic of how open and free this music behaves in the complex environment the ensemble set for itself.  There are some moments of stunning beauty here.

Jazz from Tarnów, Poland.

Read more about the album on Bird is the Worm (LINK).