Oles Brothers with Rob Brown: Live At SJC (2010)
It's funny how certain jazz players find other kindred spirits to play with. Where would Ornette Coleman have been if he hadn't found Charlie Haden? Or McCoy Tyner without John Coltrane? Like minds always seem to find and sometimes track down each other. Such is the case with the Polish brothers Marcin Oles (bass) and Bartlomiej Brat Oles (drums) recording with American saxophonist Rob Brown.
The brothers' previous outings have included collaborations with Kenny Werner Shadows (Fenomedia, 2006), Theo Jorgensmann Alchemia (hatOLOGY, 2007), Herb Robertson Live at Alchemia (Nottwo Records, 2007), and Ken Vandermark Ideas (Nottwo Records, 2005). Their jazz sense has roots in the freedom of 1960s America as it percolated throughout Europe and reappeared in Chicago, Wuppertal and Umea.
The disc opens with a 30-minute energy piece, the "Here & Now Suite" in three parts. Brown, who previously worked with William Parker, Joe Morris and Matthew Shipp, is quite comfortable in this setting. The three often change pace, but keep up a relentless torrent power. And satisfying enough, the trio has a few more weapons in their arsenal. "Ash Tree" displays a slower (can we say softer?), more amenable bit of playing. Brown's tranquil lines open the track to the bowed bass and drum accents. The trio's tension/release equation is set aside here to tap into new emotion.
The highlight of the recording might be "Monkey's Hour," a masterpiece of free-bop and energy jazz. From an understated, almost modest drum solo opening, Bartlomiej Brat Oles' composition unfurls into an angular lurching piece that includes a down current ride of precipitous speed and high-wire agility which the brothers and Brown maneuver with a nonchalant sprezzatura worthy of the audience's hearty praise.
Track Listing: Here & Now Suite: 1. Part I--Past; Part II--Present; Part III--Future; Rebeaming; Black Eagle; Ash Tree; Monkey's Hour.
Personnel: Rob Brown: alto saxophone; Marcin Oles: double bass; Bartlomiej Brat Oles: drums.