Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

: Baza

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
On Baza Swedish reedman Martin Kuchen joins forces with Polish acoustic bass guitarist Rafal Mazur for a seat-of-the-pants duet, recorded live at the titular Krakow club. Issued as a limited edition LP, but also available as a download, the program contains two cuts also named after the venue. While Küchen may be best known for his variable-sized Angles ensembles and his part in the co-operative quintet All Included, both of which perform his charts, he is also a formidable improviser and it is this facet of his artistry exposed here. He's ably matched with Mazur, one of Poland's foremost proponents of untethered expression.

Together they create a dialogue which is urgent, raw and moving. "Baza 1," which carries over onto the second side of the LP, demonstrates their command of long form invention. It starts in astringent bursts from Küchen on alto and Mazur wielding his bow, before an especially effective episode contrasts Mazur's fat clipped notes and Küchen's sopranino squawks. While the bassist imparts momentum, the reedman generates a harsh overblown emotional edge, softened as his shrieks turn into whimpers. At times he delivers a visceral charge with vocalizations such that his sound is as much voice as instrument.

After a pause, the piece develops into an extemporized dirge, which recalls one of Küchen's favored compositional modes. Mazur's stately pulse gives wings to the reedman's splintered cries of anguished regret. Küchen briefly blows both horns simultaneously as he transitions from alto to sopranino, ushering in a lengthy closing sequence of indeterminate whistles, mumbles and susurrations which represents the only misstep of the performance. "Baza 2" completes the set in dashing conversational style. Küchen's alto whinnies mesh well with a bass rumble punctuated by electrifying arco swipes. The track ends with another tremendous passage of strangulated multiphonic bleats from the saxophonist, full of life and feeling.

The disc captures an outstanding encounter which presents two men at the height of their powers.

Track Listing: Baza 1; Baza 1 (continued); Baza 2.

Personnel: Martin Küchen: sopranino and alto saxophones; Rafał Mazur: acoustic bass guitar.

Title: Baza | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: NoBusiness Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

The Indispensable Warlords

The Indispensable Warlords

Martin Kuchen
Live at Glenn Miller Cafe

Album Reviews
  • Baza by John Sharpe
Radio
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
General Articles
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Baza

Baza

NoBusiness Records
2019

buy
Live At Vilnius Jazz Festival

Live At Vilnius Jazz...

NoBusiness Records
2017

buy
The Spirit Of Piteşti

The Spirit Of Piteşti

Clean Feed Records
2017

buy
Night In Europe

Night In Europe

NoBusiness Records
2016

buy
Melted Snow

Melted Snow

NoBusiness Records
2015

buy
Every Woman Is A Tree

Every Woman Is A Tree

Clean Feed Records
2008

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Absinthe Album Reviews
Absinthe
By Mark Sullivan
March 18, 2019
Read Chi Album Reviews
Chi
By John Ephland
March 18, 2019
Read The Time Is Now Album Reviews
The Time Is Now
By David A. Orthmann
March 18, 2019
Read Road To The Sun Album Reviews
Road To The Sun
By Dan McClenaghan
March 18, 2019
Read Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs Album Reviews
Rosa Parks: Pure Love. An Oratorio of Seven Songs
By John Sharpe
March 18, 2019
Read Hyperuranion Album Reviews
Hyperuranion
By Dan McClenaghan
March 17, 2019
Read Nuevo Valso Album Reviews
Nuevo Valso
By Friedrich Kunzmann
March 17, 2019