A Pair From Polish Saxophonist Adam Pieronczyk

Dan McClenaghan BY

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Sometimes music sits in the cellar and ages like fine wine. In 2016, Polish saxophonist Adam Pieronczyk recorded in the quartet outing I'll Colour Around It and a solo soprano saxophone recital, Oaxaca Constellation, both self-produced. These two albums rise up from those wine cellar steps in 2021, ready for consumption, spinning out sounds as intrepid and modern as any Pieronczyk has made in his twenty-plus album discography, that includes a pair of terrific "Best of Year'' releases—the sextet outing Komeda: The Innocent Sorcerer (Jazzwerkstatt, 2011) and the otherworldly, electro-laden trio set Monte Alban (Jazzsound, 2016).

Oaxaca Constellation
Self Produced

Pieronczyk is no stranger to solo soprano sax outings; he offered up The Planet Of Eternal Life (Jazzwerkstatt) in 2013. Now we have Oaxaca Constellation, recorded in the Exconvento San Pablo, a former 16th century Dominican Monastery, in the heart of Oaxaca, Mexico, a country that has been very good for Adam Pieronczyk; the previously-mentioned, excellent Monte Alban was recorded in Mexico City, in a quickly organised session after a tour.

Oaxaca Constellation uses the dense walls of the old monastery as a second instrument of sorts, ghostly reverberations bouncing off walls and blending in with previous, diminishing echoes. It is something akin to accordionist Pauline Oliveros' recordings in cisterns. The individual notes of Pieronczyk's improvised melodies spread out in concentric circles, like waves in a pond from the skipping impacts of thrown stones—though the pond analogy suggests two dimensions. Sonically, inside dense walls, what the saxophone and the room create is a three dimensional experience, concentric globes of sound, initially rich and ringingly clear, then blurred with the overlaps of unpredictable, fading reiterations, on thirty fluid pieces, ranging from fifty-five seconds to three minutes each in duration, all inspired by Oaxaca's night sky.

I'll Colour Around It
Self Produced

I'll Colour Around It is a different experience—a quartet outing featuring Pieronczyk switching back and forth from soprano to tenor saxophones, joined by American guitarist Jean-Paul Bourelly, bassist Orlando le Fleming and drummer John B. Arnold. While the leader is notable for his originality in all of his recordings, this one is even more remarkable in that regard. His interplay with guitarist Bourelly makes this effort seem like a co-leader affair. The sound shifts from smooth articulations to raw wailings, to crunchy interludes. At times the music brings a garage rock ensemble to mind, or an early sixties surf guitar rock unit breaking away from predictable rhythms, dishing up ominous Link Wray-like atmospherics. The dance of Pieronczyk's soprano horn and Bourelly's wah-wah guitar on "Signal And Noise," played out over resilient and steely bass/drums rhythm, is masterfully rendered. "Frameless Thinking" feels surreptitious and agitated; "The Worlds We Have Lost" is a wee hours rumination, and "Left Alone" features Pieronczyk blowing into a Ben Webster tenor sax robustness inside Bourelly's glowing chords, while the closer, "Exploring History" plays out as a wandering journey into a spirit world.

Tracks and Personnel

Oaxaca Constellation

Tracks: Orionis; Tabit; Ainath; AinilamI; Saiph; Betelgeuse; Meissa; Eclipse; Equinoccio (Equinox); Hatysa; Merope;Mamalhuaztli (Orion's Belt); Celaeno; Epsilon Scorpil; Pleione; Capella; Ainitak; PSR B1620-26 B Exoplanet; Schaula; Acrab; La Cruz Del Sur (The Southern Cross); Tezcatlipoca (Ursa Mayor); Citlalin Tlamina (Falling Star); Sargas; Citlalin Popoca (Comet); ZinaanEk (Constellation Of Scorpio); Maya; Eclipse De Sangre (Blood Moon Eclipse); Taygeta; Alcyone; Alhena; Tianquiztli (Pleiades); Superluna (Super Moon); Girtab; Atlas.

Tracks And Personnel

I'll Colour Around It

Tracks: The Vitruvian Man; Signal And Noise; Frameless Thinking; The World We Have Lost; Spreaders Of Light; Left Alone; Anthill; Exploring History.

Personnel: Adam Pieronczyk: soprano and tenor saxophones; Jean-Paul Bourelly: guitar; Orlando Le Fleming: bass; John B. Arnold: drums.

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