Nov 12 2013
I have been listening to an astounding new release. It is titled Alaman, a live recording from the big band Power of the Horns, an outfit led by Piotr Damasiewicz.
This is an album where:
Saxophone cries and surging tempos co-exist with interludes of melodic beauty and jaw-dropping moments of harmonic sensitivity.
Surging infectious grooves materialize out of nowhere, at moments when it appears that the music will disperse completely, freed of all structure.
Piano and bass and drums combine in an expression of late-period Hard Bop, instilling a soulful patter while saxophones and trumpet are wailing with an unrestrained freedom, as if to deny the presence of any form of influence or attempt at categorization.
Free expressionism and far-reaching solos never fall out of sight due to the binding nature of a rhythmic center of gravity that drives each song toward a unifying shape, no matter how much each soloist strains against it.
Music sounds ferocious and terrifying and volatile, and yet resonates with an unmissable sense of fun, of the sort of expressiveness that is likely to elicit grins from listeners, rather than fear.
Thrilling music that sets off a perpetual series of explosions possesses, at times, a mesmerizing quality not unlike the effect of when the sonic bang of fireworks falls off the radar, leaving only the captivating light show to awe and enchant.
Music that echoes the experimental big bands and large ensembles of the fertile 1960-1970’s free improvisation avant-garde axis is offered up with a new voice, sounding fresh and vibrant and no less experimental with its sense of daring and fearlessness.
Uninhibited creative expression proves, yet again, to be an invaluable source of inspiration, amazement, and enjoyability that can’t be measured… only treasured and persistently sought out time and time again.
Go buy this album.
Your album personnel: Piotr Damasiewicz (composer, conductor, trumpet, voices), Adam Pindur (soprano sax), Maciej Obara (alto sax), Marek Pospieszalski (tenor sax, bass clarinet, flute, growl), Pawel Niewiadomski (trombone), Jakub Mielcarek (double bass), Max Mucha (double bass), Gabriel Ferrandini (drums), Wojciech Romanowski (drums), Tomas Sanchez (percussion), and Dominik Wania (piano).
Released on For Tune Records.
Stream an additional album track on the label’s Bandcamp page.
Jazz from the Wroclaw, Poland scene.