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CD/LP/Track Review

Marcin & Bartlomiej Oles: Duo (2009)

By Published: February 13, 2009
Marcin & Bartlomiej Oles: Duo Twin brothers Marcin and Bartlomiej Brat Oles have lent a unique perspective to several jazz recordings. Both play instruments that provide the rhythm and impetus to front line musicians; but each has his own sense of dynamics and harmony that often gives the music an unexpected dimension.

The Oles brothers have developed their approach and honed their art both as leaders and sidemen, playing with artists including Theo Jorgensmann, David Murray, Simon Nabotov, Herb Robertson and Kenny Werner. With a deep catalog of collaborations, they decided to strip away the extras and record as a duo. Their focus was to move away from common jazz patterns and give the music a distinctive character.

They have succeeded remarkably, their empathy a constant factor in the evolution of the music and they are as comfortable in a mainstream outing as they are in improvising on the spur-of-the-moment.

Marcin is the progenitor of a cornucopia of color on "White Rainbow." Bartlomiej plucks the melody, opening it up with his inventions before taking up the bow. His arco sets up a distinct melodic mood that is chamber-like, and brings in a hypnotic air with its arching, cyclic spin.

Vignettes of sound and tone are the core of several outings including "Skrik." Both players give each other space; intertwining and cleaving, they take different tempos but the logic is indisputable. Topping it all off they stamp their class as conversationalists with some exhilarating call-and-response.

The rhythm of "Afrik" is ripe for dancing. Marcin uses percussion and drums to lay down the tantalizing and irresistible beat, as Bartlomiej bows the redolent melody. The sparks fly on the pulse and kick of the bass drum, in the glow of the soft touch on the double-bass, and in the ability of the two to give meaning to the spirit of the music.

Turning it on with Duo, the Oles' enticing niche makes for an enjoyable listening experience.


Track Listing: Three Chords; Betula; Skrik; Lukacs; Avalanche; White Rainbow; Mortone; Jewisher; City Movement; Afrik.

Personnel: Marcin Oles: double-bass; Bartlomiej Brat Oles: drums.

Record Label: Fenommedia

Style: Modern Jazz



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