Mikolaj Trzaska / Olie Brice / Mark Sanders: Riverloam Trio (2012)

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Mikolaj Trzaska / Olie Brice / Mark Sanders: Riverloam Trio
Mikolaj Trzaska (pronounced "Miko-why Chass-kuh") is not a name which drops off even the most assiduous jazz fan's lips. But on the evidence of this recording, it will become increasingly familiar outside his native Poland. Already the reedman has featured alongside American multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee
Joe McPhee
Joe McPhee
b.1939
reeds
on the excellent Magic (Not Two, 2009), with reedman Ken Vandermark
Ken Vandermark
Ken Vandermark
b.1964
saxophone
's Resonance Ensemble, and in a spinoff from that aggregation with trombonist Steve Swell
Steve Swell
Steve Swell
b.1954
trombone
under the moniker Inner Ear.

Riverloam Trio unites the Pole with two of the UK's most active improvisers: drummer Mark Sanders
Mark Sanders
Mark Sanders
b.1960
, famed for his work with saxophonists Evan Parker
Evan Parker
Evan Parker
b.1944
sax, tenor
and Paul Dunmall
Paul Dunmall
Paul Dunmall
b.1953
saxophone
; and bassist Olie Brice
Olie Brice
Olie Brice
b.1981
bass, acoustic
, a relative newcomer who has appeared with Parker and recorded with German saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock
Ingrid Laubrock
Ingrid Laubrock
b.1970
saxophone
. This limited edition double LP, captured in concert in Birmingham, England in 2011, features five extended spontaneous structures which explore a wide range of moods and tonalities, in front of what sounds like a sparse but privileged audience. It's group music, replete with responsive interplay, from which solos naturally emerge.

On alto saxophone and bass clarinet, Trzaska proves reminiscent of Vandermark, with his staccato phrases and repeated motifs, and also evokes McPhee at times with his simultaneous vocalizations. Jazz and blues inflections, though present, tend to be obscured, not least by his propensity for extreme tonal diversions. Brice grounds the music with a muscular tone, not unlike Charlie Haden
Charlie Haden
Charlie Haden
1937 - 2014
bass, acoustic
in his concentration on sound rather than speed, anchoring with measured accents when his companions are in full spate. Though never showy, he shines on the pensive "Ostrich Season" when his bowing creates a wonderful blend of ringing harmonics and groaning abrasions. Sanders combines polyrhythmic momentum with timbral diversity, an effect which adds depth throughout, but best heard in his solo introduction to the animated "Sumac And Pokeweed" where he weaves diverse textures into a pulsating chatter.

In a meeting of minds, paradoxically selfless yet predicated upon individual virtuosity, this is a set whose virtues are those which characterize the finest free improvisation: conversational, passionate, purposeful, well-paced, organic, and intense.

Track Listing: Riverloam; Kornic; Ostrich Season; Carnival Of Shapes; Sumac And Pokeweed.

Personnel: Mikolaj Trzaska: alto saxophone, bass clarinet; Olie Brice: double bass; Mark Sanders: drums.

Record Label: NoBusiness Records


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