All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

258

Marcin and Bartlomiej Brat Oles: Duo

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Faced with any bass and drums duo, the question is always going to be: does it pass the music minus one test? It is a brave and unforgiving furrow which not too many choose to plough. Of those that do, they often stretch the parameters by using tuned percussion or additional wind instruments like William Parker and Hamid Drake in their celebrated duets, or double-up on another string instrument like Henry Grimes and Rashied Ali(Porter Records, 2008), where recitations also leaven the mix.

Citing a deep jazz sensibility, brothers Marcin and Bartlomiej Brat Oles choose to go it alone with just their bass and drums respectively on Duo, eschewing exotica bar thumb pianos and shakers on the closing "Afrik." Known for their collaborations with visiting North Americans like David Murray, Kenny Werner, and Ken Vandermark, as well as European luminaries including Theo Jorgensmann and Simon Nabatov, the brothers are one of the leading rhythm sections on the burgeoning Polish scene.

Not only do they keep to the instrumentation spare, but they also often adhere to the roles those instruments would occupy in a regular band. So B. Oles' drums regularly mark time, while M. Oles' bass carries the melodic line. It's no surprise to see that six of the ten tracks are credited to the bassist, though three stem from the drummer, with one joint effort. Both are skilled players with chops to spare, with Marcin particularly adept with his bow, but they perform without ostentatious technique. Consequently the program stands on the strengths of the compositions and the ensuing improvisations.

"Three chords" gets the proceedings off to a promising start with atmospheric tinklings and mysterious arco sweeps, before the drums kick in and the bass extemporizes, using the titular bowed motif as a recurring theme. This tactic is used again elsewhere in the program and is evidence of a strong sense of organizational structure, essential in this barebones setting. Elsewhere there are some attractive melodies as on "Betula," "White rainbow," and "Afrik," and it wouldn't be a surprise to see some of these pieces resurface in a more conventional setting.

Ultimately, though the Oles brothers conjure a cohesive sound world complete in itself, to pass the test it is one best entered perhaps a few tracks at a time.


Track Listing: Three Chords; Betula; Skrik; Lukacs; Avalanche; White Rainbow; Mortone; Jewisher; City Movement; Afrik.

Personnel: Marcin Oles: double-bass; Bartlomiej Brat Oles: drums.

Title: Duo | Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Fenommedia

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
De Profundis

De Profundis

Fenommedia
2011

buy
Duo

Duo

Fenommedia
2009

buy
Suite for Trio +

Suite for Trio +

Fenommedia
2005

buy

Related Articles

Read Postcard Collection CD/LP/Track Review
Postcard Collection
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Der Dichter Spricht CD/LP/Track Review
Der Dichter Spricht
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Dodecahedron CD/LP/Track Review
Dodecahedron
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 21, 2018
Read The Chopin Project CD/LP/Track Review
The Chopin Project
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Walk The Walk CD/LP/Track Review
Walk The Walk
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: June 21, 2018
Read Grime Scene CD/LP/Track Review
Grime Scene
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 20, 2018
Read "Months, Weeks and Days" CD/LP/Track Review Months, Weeks and Days
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 21, 2018
Read "Mother Tongue" CD/LP/Track Review Mother Tongue
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: November 3, 2017
Read "Transatlantic" CD/LP/Track Review Transatlantic
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 16, 2018
Read "Edge Detection" CD/LP/Track Review Edge Detection
by Doug Collette
Published: March 4, 2018
Read "Sonic Fiction" CD/LP/Track Review Sonic Fiction
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 4, 2018
Read "Synchronic" CD/LP/Track Review Synchronic
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 25, 2017