CD 1
JANUSZ SKOWRON yamaha dx7 & piano
VITOLD REK electric & double bass
TADEUSZ SUDNIK aks synthesizer, self-made electronic instruments
CD 2
MICHAEL RIESSLER bass clarinet, clarinet & sopranino saxophone
East-West Ode to Improvisation The range is enormous: from sounds that seem meditative to expressive screams, from unaccompanied solos to tightly interwoven interactions. And through it all, the tension is never lost: the trio’s music reveals something flowing, agile and moving.
This has something to do with the jazz tradition even though the scope of this music transcends the border of strict definitions. The folkloric comes as much
into play as the European modern sound dimension. It’s not a matter of a cleverly designed construction but rather of the sum of the experiences brought together, of the connection between feelings, of the correspondence of sovereignty in handling very different means and materials which is derived from a variety of fields of work.
The carefully considered compositions of Tomasz Stanko, Manfred Bründl and
Michael Riessler form so to speak the basic for stories which first take shape in the medium of improvisation.
Although coming from comparatively different worlds the three musicians intuitively find ways to express common moods. And even when single pieces
are organized as solo features, the overall impression is still one of the balanced
harmony in which each simultaneously plays and listens, radiates ideas and receives impulses.
Almost orchestral effects are sometimes created by the interplay of the completely individual brass, woodwind and string sounds. The impression is
strengthened through instrumental virtuosity, the flowing change of techniques or the tone colors, and the capability of spontaneous counterpoint.
The trio has come closer to achieving the always newly reaffirmed goal of the synthesis of spontaneity and form.
Music, Tomasz Stanko has recently stressed, is abstract; it’s not about something. A piece which he and his wife listened to together seemed sad to him and yet conveyed to her a feeling of happiness. Indirectly, this observationis based on the acceptance of the emotional effects and something of the nature of the music of Tomasz Stanko. It is harsh and yet velvety, pressing and yet melancholic. It is, even when this may sound hackneyed, unquestionably Polish. And so too does Michael Riessler’s music show influences of the folklore maginaire which developed in France. Involved here are not folk-music colors but rather so to speak trace elements, living ways of playing with widely branching
roots in the subconscious.
Manfred Bründl proves to be the one where all of the strands intersect in the
sense of his creating the connections between such different musical characters
as Stanko and Riessler. The bass is the basic; it creates continuity, provides impulses, and has the ability to provide a spatial dimension for the free-flying lines of the wind players. Here Manfred Bründl not only demonstrates his diverse talents as a jazz and classical instrumentalist, but also a strong sense of individuality. Ranging from the vocal to the discordant, he tautens a bow which proves to be both animated and inspired.
The three merge seemingly effortlessly and weightlessly: Tomasz Stanko from Warsaw, turned fifty years old in 1992, played at the beginning of his career with the legendary Krzysztof Komeda, and has been among the leading (and still not fully appreciated) trumpeters for years. Manfred Bründl and Michael Riessler, who belong to a rising generation and are continually expanding their areas of experience.
Although perhaps not so obvious, there are a variety of allusions in the music of this trio. Bründl dedicated, for example, THE EYE OFF THE HARRY CAME to the guitarist, Harry Pepl, whereas GARY’S FEATHERS refers to the bassist, Gary Peacock (with whom, incidentally, Tomasz Stanko once played in a group along with Jan Garbarek and Jack DeJohnette). SUITE-TALK (II) conjures up the panorama of an English park.
But wait, with the reminder still in mind that music is abstract, I will venture another concretization: it is the inner landscape of the three musicians which engulfs us.
Although during Michael Riessler’s phenomenal playing, particularly on the bass clarinet, the association to Eric Dolphy is hanging in the air, Riessler also shows that he has been influenced by German and French jazz musicians by his treatment of composers like Mauricio Kagel and Vinko Globokar, John Cage and Steve Reich, by interpretations of works of Stockhausen, and of course by working with Carla Bley. Manfred Bründl contributes experiences which he gained as a member of the Heinz Sauer Quartet and with his own group, above all Bründls Basslab. And yet the interplay creates something never heard before, something fully unconventional but yet in surprisingly convincing forms and commonly expressed moods which often seem ballad-like. If one can indeed call them ballads, then only on a level of abstraction which is as distant from Body and Soul as from the songs of Schönberg and the singing of Polish country folk – far away and yet very rhapsodic.
Pensively and with feeling, almost dance-like. Harmonious without requiring explanation. New music in the true sense of the expression, but yet playful. Bert Noglik

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