Tomasz Dabrowski: Ninjazz

Mike Jurkovic By

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Ninjazz, just one of Polish trumpeter Tomasz Dabrowski's several recorded efforts of 2018, finds him leading his quartet Ad Hoc through a serious investigation of ten cerebral, tonal abstractions.

Uninhibited by language, and sound explorers all, Dabrowski's all-Japanese cohorts, pianist HIROSHI MINAMI, double bassist and electronics Hiroki Chiba and time-defying drummer Hiroshi Tsuboi viscerally take Dabrowski's harmonic minimalism and, in equal parts Miles Davis circa 1968-70 and ECM-style chamber improv, create charcoal smudges of sound, each shadowed delicately at the edges. The trio will pull Dabrowski this way and that while he in turn steers them towards another sonic destiny. Dabrowski's lone trumpet fanfares "Another More Desirable Reality" to life before his henchman, particularly Chiba and Tsuboi, forcefully break the tune away from the leader to make way for Minami's percussive interjections. With barely any infrastructure holding it in place, "Penalty Fare" lists and lingers, trumpet and piano chasing a hellbent runaway rhythm-section.

"Concerns" rolls out like an outtake from Miles Smiles (Columbia, 1966), with a noticeable, if not exactly hummable, trumpet melody line. An air of disembodiment holds the center of "Oddly Abstract Nature" as an electronic harp-like wash gives way to spectral piano and random voicings from Chiba and Tsuboi before a mournful brass makes it to the fore. There's much going on within the album, as "Lines For Bogdan," with it's elliptical phrasings and wandering, rumbling dialogues (ala ECM) and the disimiliar, slow moving virus-like atmospherics of "Corrosive Power," testify strongly to.

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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