17

HoTS: Numbers

Mark Sullivan By

Sign in to view read count
HoTS: Numbers Poland's HoTS quintet makes its own mark on European modern jazz, led by composer/guitarist Mikołaj Poncyljusz. The band takes its name from the title of their first album, Harmony of The Spheres, and the Pythagorean mathematics referenced there continue in the numerical titles given to all but one of the tracks on Numbers. Opener "#26" shows a band in the Blue Note hard bop tradition, the twin horns of trumpeter Radosław Nowak and tenor saxophonist Bartosz Tkacz leading the way with relaxed swing. Then the leader takes over for the first of five brief unaccompanied improvised Interludes, each featuring a different band member.

The album structure of numbered pieces separated by interludes may appear stiff and formulaic, but it flows quite naturally, not least because the players all make the most of their individual showcases. The improvised interludes are as lyrical and thoughtful as the compositions; there is no grandstanding. "#25" serves as the ballad of the set, more or less—if there is a weakness in the material, it's a tendency towards medium tempos. At just over eleven minutes "#28" is the longest track, and makes use of the time for a languid unaccompanied bass solo, which is then joined by the saxophone. The ensuing guitar solo adds to the textural variety by building to a big chordal climax.

At just under two minutes "#23" is the shortest selection, shorter than any of the improvised interludes. It's a catchy up-tempo Latin tune that moves into a swing feel, and could have easily maintained interest for much longer. Closer "Diuna" makes up for it by exploring similar Latin and swing territory before transitioning to a closing rhapsodic rubato section, a satisfying end to the program. Poncyljusz may be the sole composer, but the group feels like it has a collective identity, a voice that is the product of everyone's contributions.

Track Listing: #26; Interlude 1; #25; Interlude 2; #27; Interlude 3; #28; Interlude 4; #23; Interlude 5; Diuna.

Personnel: Mikołaj Poncyljusz: guitar; Radosław Nowak: trumpet; Bartosz Tkacz: tenor saxophone; Adam Prokopowicz: double bass; Jakub Kinsner: drums.

Title: Numbers | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Multikulti Project


Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Day After Day CD/LP/Track Review Day After Day
by John Eyles
Published: July 21, 2017
Read We Know Not What We Do CD/LP/Track Review We Know Not What We Do
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Slade Alive! CD/LP/Track Review Slade Alive!
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 21, 2017
Read Hope CD/LP/Track Review Hope
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2017
Read The Better Angels of Our Nature CD/LP/Track Review The Better Angels of Our Nature
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 20, 2017
Read What Brought You Here? CD/LP/Track Review What Brought You Here?
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "Espiritu Zombi" CD/LP/Track Review Espiritu Zombi
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2016
Read "Parachute" CD/LP/Track Review Parachute
by Mike Jacobs
Published: September 13, 2016
Read "Two" CD/LP/Track Review Two
by Joe Gatto
Published: May 23, 2017
Read "2-Man Jazz Band" CD/LP/Track Review 2-Man Jazz Band
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "Reflections" CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 25, 2017
Read "Atmosphères" CD/LP/Track Review Atmosphères
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 2, 2016

Support All About Jazz: MAKE A PURCHASE  

Support our sponsor

Upgrade Today!

Musician? Boost your visibility at All About Jazz and drive traffic to your website with our Premium Profile service.

Donate!