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Tomasz Dabrowski Ad Hoc: Ninjazz

Glenn Astarita By

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Award-winning Polish trumpeter/educator Tomasz Dabrowski (Gilad Hekselman, Kurt Rosenwinkel, TOM TRIO) and current resident of Copenhagen, has an impressive résumé amid a penchant for exploring dissimilar jazz-based methods. Here, the artist and his Japanese cohorts build an opaque conduit between modern jazz and experimental tendencies via a democratic engagement, where each musician's voice is heard.

Dąbrowski's bronze-toned phrasings are contrasted with muted wah-wah lines that instill a conversational tone as many passages are designed with odd-metered progressions. To that end, you won't be listening to hummable jazz tunes. Conversely, the interest factor lies more within the band's inner-workings and how they get from point A to Z.

On "Concerns" bassist Hiroki Chiba launches a melodic ostinato to establish the cadence for Dabrowski and pianist Hiroshi Minami's concisely stated theme-building and loose grooves, tinted with spirited inflections and bold proclamations, as they build upon layers while setting their sights rather high.

The trumpeter employs extended techniques and executes microtonal tone poems along with Chiba's spotty use of electronics. And certain movements are framed with intertwining unison choruses and linear patterns with an alterable game-plan that periodically occurs without any notice. Moreover, the quartet deconstructs, rebuilds and delves into fee-form improv vamps with animated advances and restless bop choruses.

Pieces such as "Corrosive Power" and "The North" include understated electronics treatments, surreal balladry, dense forests of sound and the leader's plaintive cries. However, they usually land somewhere within the fringes of a previously rendered theme.

Overall, there are numerous moving parts and cunning outbreaks that emphasize the quartet's far-reaching breadth of imagination and unbounded scope of attack. Dabrowski's willingness to embrace risk pays off rather handsomely.

Track Listing: Another, More Desirable Reality; Penalty Fare; Concerns; Oddly Abstract Nature; Perfectly Average; Lines for Bogdan; Helga; Corrosive Power; The North.

Personnel: Tomasz Dąbrowski: trumpet; Hiroshi Minami: piano; Hiroki Chiba: double bass & electronics; Hiroshi Tsuboi: drums.

Title: Ninjazz | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: For Tune

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