All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

17

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

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Numbers

Numbers

Multikulti Project
2017

buy
Numbers

Numbers

Multikulti Project
2016

buy

Related Articles

Read Begin the Agora CD/LP/Track Review
Begin the Agora
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 17, 2018
Read Time Like This CD/LP/Track Review
Time Like This
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 17, 2018
Read Under One Moon CD/LP/Track Review
Under One Moon
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: October 17, 2018
Read Doubles, Vol. 1 CD/LP/Track Review
Doubles, Vol. 1
by Jim Trageser
Published: October 17, 2018
Read Outsidethebox CD/LP/Track Review
Outsidethebox
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 16, 2018
Read There Are Stars In Brooklyn CD/LP/Track Review
There Are Stars In Brooklyn
by James Fleming
Published: October 16, 2018
Read "Der Dichter Spricht" CD/LP/Track Review Der Dichter Spricht
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 7, 2018
Read "Sunshine In My Head" CD/LP/Track Review Sunshine In My Head
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 14, 2018
Read "Moksha" CD/LP/Track Review Moksha
by Roger Farbey
Published: March 29, 2018
Read "Acknowledgement" CD/LP/Track Review Acknowledgement
by Don Phipps
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "Crossing Paths" CD/LP/Track Review Crossing Paths
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 2, 2018
Read "Outside My Window" CD/LP/Track Review Outside My Window
by Jerome Wilson
Published: June 17, 2018