66

Pulsarus: Bee Itch

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
When discussing progressive jazz contexts, let us not forget our brothers and sisters in Poland who have been riding the cutting-edge schema for decades, evidenced by pianists Adam Makowicz, Marcin Wasilewski, trumpeter Tomasz Stanko and other notables of the global jazz and improvising network. However, the young For Tune record label highlights fledgling talent and seasoned vets who may not be household names in the West. Hence, Pulsarus is a prime of example of a band that ventures outside the box. Formed in 2003, the acoustic-electric group features Dominik Strycharski's use of the recorder-like blockflute to link copious additives and bizarre effects into the big picture.

Interestingly enough, the ensemble launches the album with John Lennon's "Imagine." During the onset, soft horns shape the primary theme, but as the album progresses, the musicians execute a horde of off-center contrasts and bursting choruses along with experimental episodes. Strycharski's blockflute work is apt to affix a festive touch and eerie overtones into certain passages that uncannily sound electronically treated. The ensemble's restless spirit shines on a per-track basis as they pursue odd-metered conceptualizations and soundscapes, etched with expressionistic improvisational segments and avant-garde jazz interludes. But they often slam matters into the ozone via brute force soloing, layered passages, brash horns arrangements and ominous progressions.

"Isogriv 2" commences with Stefan Orins' lower-register Fender Rhodes phrasings, steeped in a slow tempo groove, dappled with oddball background treatments, echoing horns and airy flutes. Here, they emit a foreboding vista; although the artists often intersperse gravelly dissonance with heavy metal jazz imagery amid bold works such as "Isogrov 3," that boast zany improvisational tactics and convey a shock and awe mindset. In sum, listening to this ensemble is a stirring experience that should excite the hearts and minds of jazz enthusiasts who yearn for something that goes against the grain, augmented by a highly entertaining form-factor.

Track Listing: Imagine; Guff; Isogriv 1; Bathetic; Isogriv 2; Ataraxia; Baobab; Rotfl; Isogriv 3; Hieratic; Isogriv 4.

Personnel: Dominik Strycharski: soprano, alto & tenor blockflutes; Tomasz Dąbrowski: trumpet,Balkan horn; Aleksander Papierz: alto saxophone; Ray Dickaty: tenor saxophone; Stefan Orins: electric piano; Jacek Mazurkiewicz: double bass; Jakub Rutkowski: drums.

Title: Bee Itch | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: For Tune


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Rev CD/LP/Track Review Rev
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review The Frequency Modulators Orchestra, Vol. 1
by Jim Olin
Published: October 17, 2017
Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read "Endemic Ensemble: Tangled" CD/LP/Track Review Endemic Ensemble: Tangled
by Paul Rauch
Published: December 3, 2016
Read "Obfusc/ation" CD/LP/Track Review Obfusc/ation
by Doug Collette
Published: April 18, 2017
Read "Disappeared Behind the Sun" CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 29, 2017
Read "Goat Man & The House of the Dead" CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read "Invisible Hand" CD/LP/Track Review Invisible Hand
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "Resonance" CD/LP/Track Review Resonance
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 15, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.