Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

3

Riverloam Trio: Live At The Alchemia

John Sharpe By

Sign in to view read count
Recorded at Krakow's legendary jazz club, Live At The Alchemia constitutes the third outing from what has become a perfectly-balanced unit, following the eponymous Riverloam Trio (NoBusiness, 2012) and Inem Gortn (FMR, 2014). Although, traditionally, Polish reedman Mikolaj Trzaska might be seen as the apex of a musical pyramid, supported by the solid foundation provided by the British pairing of bassist Olie Brice and drummer Mark Sanders, in actuality this is more of an equilateral triangle in which each of the parts assumes equal importance.

One of Poland's most accomplished improvisers, Trzaska has featured alongside American multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee on the excellent Magic (Not Two, 2009), and with reedman Ken Vandermark's Resonance Ensemble, as well as leading over 40 dates under his own name. Brice and Sanders, both high profile stalwarts of the UK scene, amount to an in-demand rhythm section in their own right, fuelling the likes of saxophonists Tobias Delius and Rachel Musson.

They unite on six installments of audacious free jazz culled from live performance. An emotionally-direct player, Trzaska brings something of Peter Brötzmann's raw energy to the alto saxophone, by turns vibrant, urgent, astringent and passionate, as he develops reiterated throaty vibrato-laden figures into incandescent streams. But he also possesses a more nuanced side which he reveals during passages like the delicate percolating multiphonics at the start of "Vegetal Execution," while the command of melody and rhythm central to his expression is nowhere more obvious than on "Exercises In Water."

Brice alternates between counterpoint and pulse, but wields his bow for an outstanding solo shaded by finely-judged silences between phrases in "Vegetal Execution." Meanwhile, Sanders supplies momentum-filled timbral variation. Together they enjoy a near telepathic connection, where they know what each other is likely to do almost before it happens. Just listen to how Sanders instantaneously uses a chiming cymbal strike to mark the bassist's switch from robust pizzicato to rasping arco during a lovely reflective interlude on the otherwise fiery "Cloud Store/Hard Snore."

Elsewhere, the trio utilizes arresting changes of pace to engender intensity without the high-octane mischief. Brice and Sanders, in particular, forge an electric tension at the slower tempos, as evidenced by the sequence of abrupt plucks and clanging resonance in "Metal Taste/Dedicated To Johannes Bauer." But every possible permutation revels in communication at the highest level: Sanders' patterns echo and reinforce Trzaskas's insistent proselytizing later in the same cut, whereas an engaging exchange of alto yelps and bowed swipes stands out on "One For Bad Ola."

This is an impressive offering from an outfit at the top of its game.

Track Listing: Cloud Store/Hard Snore; Vegetal Execution; Metal Taste/Dedicated To Johannes Bauer; Exercises In Water; One For Bad Ola; Final Sitting/Hair Burn.

Personnel: Mikolaj Trzaska: alto saxophone, bass clarinet; Olie Brice: double bass; Mark Sanders: drums.

Title: Live At The Alchemia | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Kilogram Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Live At The Alchemia

Live At The Alchemia

Kilogram Records
2018

buy
Inem Gortn

Inem Gortn

FMR Records
2014

buy
Riverloam Trio

Riverloam Trio

NoBusiness Records
2012

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Duologue Album Reviews
Duologue
By Dan Bilawsky
January 17, 2019
Read Showing Up Album Reviews
Showing Up
By Nicholas F. Mondello
January 17, 2019
Read Chez Hélène Album Reviews
Chez Hélène
By Glenn Astarita
January 17, 2019
Read Original Demos Album Reviews
Original Demos
By Chris M. Slawecki
January 17, 2019
Read Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard Album Reviews
Fred Hersch Trio '97 @ The Village Vanguard
By Mark Sullivan
January 16, 2019
Read SJZ Collective Reimagines Monk Album Reviews
SJZ Collective Reimagines Monk
By Doug Collette
January 16, 2019
Read Swingin' In Seattle, Live At The Penthouse 1966-1967 Album Reviews
Swingin' In Seattle, Live At The Penthouse 1966-1967
By Mike Jurkovic
January 16, 2019