18

HoTS: Numbers

Mark Sullivan By

Sign in to view read count
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

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

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

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Live In Trójka

Live In Trójka

For Tune
2019

buy
Numbers

Numbers

Multikulti Project
2017

buy
Numbers

Numbers

Multikulti Project
2016

buy

Related Articles

Read Live at I.C.U.U. Album Reviews
Live at I.C.U.U.
By Karl Ackermann
June 16, 2019
Read 789 Miles Album Reviews
789 Miles
By David A. Orthmann
June 16, 2019
Read Follow Me Album Reviews
Follow Me
By Roger Farbey
June 16, 2019
Read You Get What You Give Album Reviews
You Get What You Give
By Ljubinko Zivkovic
June 16, 2019
Read Play The Bird And The Bee Album Reviews
Play The Bird And The Bee
By Dan Bilawsky
June 15, 2019
Read Appleblueseagreen Album Reviews
Appleblueseagreen
By Dan McClenaghan
June 15, 2019
Read The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings Album Reviews
The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings
By Doug Collette
June 15, 2019