When trumpeter Andrzej Przybielski passed on in February 2011, he left behind a rich legacy in music. His name may not be widely known outside his native Poland, but he was nevertheless a stylist who carved a nook in several genres. He could play a melody with warmth, and then dart into trajectories that broke the skein but did not sacrifice logic. His harmonic concepts were drawn from several streams and he used them most skillfully.
Przybielski's association with bassist Marcin Oles and drummer Bartlomiej "Brat" Oles was a fruitful one. Together, they found the chord of invention, unraveling it in imaginative ways on recordings that included Free-bop (Polonia Records, 2000) and Abstract (NotTwo Records, 2005). De Profundis is another endearing collaboration for the trio, as it once again sets out on a journey that encompasses the blues, bop and plenty of free assimilations.
Improvisation is at the heart of jazz, and Przybielski's and the Olés brothers prove it on the two takes of the title track, each a testament to collective empathy as they instill distinct moods into the composition. The first version rips open on the yowl of the trumpet before it finds hard bop. Przybielski lays his notes wide open, as space embraces linearity as well as fragmentations. The Oleś brothers make up one of the hardest-driving, swinging and expressive rhythm sections with their sense of time, pulse and adventure. Here, as well, they are the arteries through which the music flows, both when they are the bedrock for Przybielski as much as when they are engaged in a conversation of their own.
The second version is almost three minutes longer and finds a quieter clime. The approach is freer, one that grows gradually and is enveloped in percussion, arco and the trumpet's soft waves. Przybielski soon turns trenchant, and even as he indulges in unfettered freedom, bassist Olés finds the cove of a hauntingly beautiful melody. It's a potent brew that drinks deeply from rumination as it does from torrid pitch.
If these tunes make the soul surge. then "Afroblue" makes the soul sing in exultation as the trio turns it into the cusp that nestles its eloquence. The impression is memorable as they ride time and tempo, infiltrating mood shifts seamlessly while picking up on funk, bop and a slab of blues.
The interaction between Przybielski and the Oleś brothers is stunning, sprightly and rich in its devolution of concept and innovation.
Afroblue; Epitapheum for Jacek; De Profundis; Guru; De Profundis.
Andrzej Przybielski: trumpet, flugelhorn, cornet, pocket trumpet; Marcin Olés: double-bass; Bartlomiej Brat Olés: drums.