Germany-based Double Moon Records' long-running series, "JazzThing: The Next Generation" places a spotlight on young European talent attempting to break into the modern jazz rank and file. Indeed, there have been some gems in this series of albums. Here, bassist Thomas Kolarczyk's Ensemble, comprised of German and Polish jazz artists, marks the 72nd volume, and is undeniably one of the top outings culled from this ongoing series. With a four-woodwind attack, sans the chordal component, Kolarczyk looms as a nascent visionary due to his broad jazz vernacular, while touching upon Asian and Balkan influences via his strong compositional pen and cunning arrangements.
The bassist steers traffic with profound lines and a cyclical melody on the opener, "Berlin is Full of Lonely People." However, he opens up the floor for the soloists' airy and concise phrasings amid dashes of European folk and sublime unison choruses. The band skirts nouveau chamber on occasion, but nothing too pronounced as various sub-genres impeccably morph into the progressive jazz format throughout.
The frontline dials it up a few notches, complete with briskly populated detours and peppy unison lines. Hence, Kolarczyk conveys maturity and insight as the director of operations with drummer Kuba Gudz. Moreover, the ensemble intermittently dives into the outside realm, often tinted with harmonically appealing notes, popping cadences and vivid imagery of multiple conversations transpiring at once.
"MIFIDA" is built on the hornists' whirling dervish-like statements with taut off-centered thematic expansions and hyper-mode outbreaks, as they deconstruct, rebuild and generate frisky episodes with playful overtones. "Serane" is a melancholic ballad, and the final track, "Odense" is a serene tone poem led by the bassist's sawing arco movements, and Otto Hirte's extended flute lines. Indeed, Kolarczyk and his ensemble burst out of the gate with an enduring program, intimating that a bright future is in the cards for this persuasive unit.
Berlin is Full of Lonely People; Hava; Intro; Berlin is Full of Happy People; MIFIDA; ACIS; Serane; Ciemnogrod;
Viktor Wolf: clarinet, bass clarinet; Otto Hirte: alto saxophone, flute, alto clarinet; Slawek Pezda: tenor
saxophone; Thomas Kolarczyk: double bass; Kuba Gudz: drums.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.