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 1538 CD/LP/Track Review
1538
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 19, 2018
Read Love Wins CD/LP/Track Review
Love Wins
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 19, 2018
Read 1538 CD/LP/Track Review
1538
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 19, 2018
Read Mutt Slang CD/LP/Track Review
Mutt Slang
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 19, 2018
Read Prisma CD/LP/Track Review
Prisma
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 19, 2018
Read Jazz Tango CD/LP/Track Review
Jazz Tango
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 18, 2018
Read "Sculptures" CD/LP/Track Review Sculptures
by Patrick Burnette
Published: March 2, 2018
Read "Piano Works" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Works
by John Sharpe
Published: April 26, 2018
Read "Disconnected" CD/LP/Track Review Disconnected
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 3, 2017
Read "NPO Trio - Live at the Stone" CD/LP/Track Review NPO Trio - Live at the Stone
by Troy Dostert
Published: May 10, 2018
Read "Sparse" CD/LP/Track Review Sparse
by Don Phipps
Published: January 12, 2018
Read "Secret Passages" CD/LP/Track Review Secret Passages
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: December 11, 2017