Seemingly from thin air, the meditative music on Unloved, Polish alto saxophonist Maciej Obara's ECM debut, envelopes you in its improvisatory, chamber atmosphere and stays with you through the darker parts of the day.
Spectral piano Dominik Wania, expressive double bass Ole Morten Vågan and airy percussion Gard Nilssden, composers and band leaders all, contribute mightily and selflessly to Obara's bare, lyrical sketches; filling them out and forming them into a whole consciousness, into motifs and tone poems of quiet power and resilience.
Mellow like whispers, "Ula," "One For," and "Joli Bord" set the tone for Unloved, an edge of sleep music wherein the warmth of blankets, or a lover, releases the previous anxious hours. The frisky, bass driven "Sleepwalker" breaks the quiet spell. As if foreshadowing another crazy day of life on Earth, the following "Echoes" is an all out, free-for-all-jam, with Wania throwing melodic shards and block chords wantonly, Obara blowing with the brashest tone he uses throughout, and Vagan and Nilssen muscling through the ecstatic nine minutes. The album closes as it began, with the ruminative "Storyteller."
Rhythm Abstraction: Azure is the first volume of new compositions created as a follow up to 2018’s
release Rhythm Kaleidoscope. As with that release, Brock Avery improvised drum and percussion
solos. Frank Macchia then composed music for woodwinds and orchestra to Brock’s creations. Azure
is the first of three extended play albums of 6-7 compositions which will be released starting in
January and followed up in April and July. In Azure we have a created a group of pieces that continue
our quest for honoring the art of improvisation with a “stream-of-consciousness” sense of
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