Bartlomiej Brat Oleś (drums) and Marcin Oleś (double bass) have a simple adage when it comes to their music: to remain faithful to their convictions and create music that is open and requires both technical mastery and individual artistry. They have remained true to that whether playing as a Duo (Fenommedia, 2008) or with other musicians like Herb Robertson on Live at Alchemia (Not Two Records, 2007). Interaction and empathy are the twin factors that open the door and capture the imagination as they take off from well composed notations into realms that are both earthy and ethereal.
The tradition continues to find its voice on this CD which was recorded live at the Silesian Jazz Club in Gliwice, Poland with Rob Brown on alto saxophone. Brown has his own history of accomplishments, carrying his unique voice into the Little Huey Orchestra, besides playing with Cecil Taylor, Simon Nabatov and Frank Gratkowski among other celebrated improvisers.
Brown always rises to a challenge and is never afraid to take risks. He runs a wide gamut of expression on the "Here & Now Suite" as he moves from bebop to heated free drive on the highway of invention. Even as he finds that avenue, he parallels the excursion with bop driven lines that find both linearity and stratospheric tangents into which he injects honks, squeals and torques of intensity. The suite opens plenty of room for the rhythm section. Marcin Oleś keeps the beat crisp and ticking, driving the pulse through cross currents of rhythm even as he nails the dynamics and releases tension with supple inflections. The expansive notations of the suite let Bartlomiej Oleś play a lyrical and flowing solo, quite the antithesis of the roiling pulse he lets loose under Brown.
Swing grabs hold of "Black Eagle" and as the trio finds its groove in the mainstream, they bring in a solid structure. Brown at first gives the melody its due before he accelerates time and takes it into inspired runs that burn with intensity. Marcin Oleś is left open for his own outing in an undeniable exhibition of virtuosic iridescence. Bartolmiej Oleś is luminous as he lets each note shine in his distinctive and cogent tone manifested to a high degree on "Ash Tree."
The Oleś brothers and Brown masterfully realize the scope of the compositions through their potent conceptualization of the themes.
Track Listing: Here & Now Suite: Part 1-Past; Part II-Present; Part III-Future; Rebeaming; Black Eagle; Ash Tree; Monkey's Hour.
Personnel: Rob Brown: alto sax; Marcin Oles: double bass; Bartlomiej Brat Oles: drums.
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already
I was first exposed to jazz circa 1973, when I met a fellow who ran Kappy's Record Store over near 10th Ave., on 42nd St. in NYC. We really clicked and when I told him I played piano and went to Music & Art HS, and had just started at City College of NY as a music major, he asked if I liked jazz...I said yes but I didn't know much about it, but that I did have sheet music for many popular 1920's through 1940's tunes by noted composers (Porter; Gershwins; Irving Berlin; Rodgers & Hammerstein/Hart; Jerome Kern; Lerner & Loewe; etc.) that my mother had sung beautifully starting in the 1940's including tons of famous show tunes, and I played many of those songs already. SOOOO... he started me off LP's by Oscar Peterson, Art Tatum, Bud Powell, Errol Garner, Bill Evans, Monty Alexander, Charlie Byrd, and Dave Brubeck... does it get any better than that? ...No, it doesn't. I was hooked!!
I met and had a master class with the late music giant John Lewis, leader of the Modern Jazz Quartet! This was at CCNY in 1977. I was blessed! It was an incredible class... how could it have been anything else?!?!
The first jazz record I bought was...I bought numerous records from my friend at the record store, as mentioned above. He introduced me to nothing but music giants/legends! I think The Dave Brubeck Quartet, Greatest Hits, was actually the first one.
My advice to new listeners... study first--understand the rudiments--solfeggio, keys, scales, and basic chords. Read a book or take a class that includes the study of chord progressions, especially in jazz. It should ideally be a piano class so you can play multiple notes together. Have a good EAR or else it's not really worth it in my view...to become a musician, a good EAR for music is about as fundamental as breathing! Learn to read chord charts--i.e., lead sheets - wherein you play various voicings of the chords--major, minor, dominant 7th (alterations of these, you can learn over time - the basic chords are most important for starters), plus the melody, on the piano or keyboard. If you have to read the exact notes, then it's not the same as actually internalizing it & getting it all into your head. If you can do this, I think you're ready not only for listening to jazz, but understanding many concepts of it! Of course...anyone can listen to jazz... but I think it's so good to also have a grasp of it.