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Tubis Trio: The Truth

Geno Thackara By

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A title such as The Truth may seem like some kind of commentary or bold statement in what's strangely referred to as the post-truth era, though Maciej Tubis and his cohorts thankfully don't bring any such weighty baggage to their first studio date (following two live releases with slightly different lineups). "In the end, you need to play on your own. You need to tell the truth and the genre called jazz suddenly eludes you. We don't want to deceive anyone—or ourselves ..." the pianist muses in his brief thoughtful liner notes. "The stories that really tug at the heartstrings are the true, fact-based ones, even if they are simple." It's an interesting insight, and this band's inviting performances indeed find that kind of simplicity with a disarming honesty.

That's not to say that the Tubis Trio lacks sophistication or smarts. It means that their music is simple without being simplistic, managing to sound pleasantly straightforward even when things get tricky. Bandmates Paweł Puszczało and Przemysław Pacan exhibit just the same affability in maintaining the grooves—though Tubis provides the compositions, the group's rapport is just as vital in making the experience as warm and catchy as it is. The chemistry sparks the right kind of positive energy among them, much like a friend you can't help liking because he's always smiling and pleasant to be around.

Tubis may show the genre-blending appeal of clear influences such as Keith Jarrett or Brad Mehldau, but he's just as clearly able to move past them to convey his own truth. The occasional winding 5/4 sections of "Peloponnese" or "Tokyo" flow as naturally as any standard-time beat, while the disc makes room for steady-bouncing hooks like "2.31PM" and the thoughtful serenity of "It's a Beautiful Winter Out There" at the same time. Puszczało's smooth double bass adds lovely shadings in his couple solo spots, while the leader's flights on the keys stay clever without any overt flash. For his part, Pacan displays a busy sense of rhythm that crosses into trance and back without becoming static. It's a mix that keeps an upbeat feel through all different modes. Besides offering plenty of detail under the surface, The Truth can just as easily serve as jazz for people who don't normally like jazz: a charming and genuinely buoyant listen for just about any taste.

Track Listing: Monday on My Way; 2.31PM; Peloponnese; Seven Heavens; I Forgot the Plot; Tokyo; It's a Beautiful Winter Out There; Diminished World; Augmented Reality; Triceratops.

Personnel: Maciej Tubis: piano; Przemysław Pacan: drums; Paweł Puszczało: double bass.

Title: The Truth | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Challenge Records

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