Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Confusion Project ‎– Primal (2018)

Style: Jazz-Rock
Format: CD
Label: Soliton

01. The Old Oak
02. Primal
03. Monologue I
04. Into The Forest
05. Monologue II
06. Lost
07. Monologue III
08. Upstream
09. The Wind And The Stone
10. The Climb
11. The Landscape

Michał Ciesielski - piano
Piotr Gierszewski - bass guitar
Adam Golicki - drums

The Tri-City Confusion Project has been created by the pianist and composer Michał Ciesielski (graduate of the Academy of Music in Gdańsk and a several-time winner of the K.Komedy Composer's Competition), Piotr Gierszewski (bass guitar) and Adam Golicki (drums). A year after the warmly received debut album "How to Steal a Piano?" (2014), Confusion Project has released their second album: "The Future Starts Now". However, the band's third album is a kind of conceptual suite that talks about searching for true human nature and original sensitivity.
The music of the Confusion Project from the first album is characterized by an illustrative character and specific aesthetics that deeply stimulate the imagination. This time, however, the whole album took the form of 11 chapters of a musical story about a particular dramaturgy, narrative and message.
The conceptuality of the suite does not, fortunately, deprive the music of the Confusion Project's unpredictability, which could be feared after the album being one long whole. Each subsequent fragment of the album reveals to the recipient huge amounts of creativity and ingenuity of the creator of the suite, Michał Ciesielski, in building a fascinating, totally addictive climate.
Contrary to the initial fears that appeared before the release of the album, "Primal"is a very communicative album in which the expressive and legible melody is adjacent to truly masterful solutions.
In the full reflection, the contemplative story is woven into "monologues", being solo miniatures of each of the individual trio musicians (" Monologue I-III "). These fragments, however, are an integral part of the whole, which should be listened from beginning to end.
The Confusion Project musicians have managed to reconcile the ambitious form of a long 52-minute concept suite, with exceptional accessibility of music that can also appeal to the less-listened to jazz audiences. In terms of aesthetics, the fans of progressive rock music in the '70s can also be interested in "Primal" .
Particularly noteworthy is the extremely careful edition of the album with a sticker containing beautiful photographs taken in the Stołowe Mountains.
"Primal" is an exceptionally mature album. Very important for today's Polish jazz, and certainly a breakthrough for the Confusion Project, whose subsequent achievements will be seen through the prism of this album. 
Robert Ratajczak / longplayrecenzje

Collocutor ‎– The Search (2017)

Style: Avant-garde Jazz, Contemporary Jazz, Free Improvisation
Format: Vinyl
Label: On The Corner Records

A1.   Disappearance
A2.   Conversation 1
A3.   The Search
A4.   Conversation 2
B1.   Here To There To Everywhere
B2.   Conversation 3
B3.   Arrival

Baritone Saxophone, Alto Flute – Tamar Osborn
Bass – Suman Joshi
Guitar – Marco Piccioni
Percussion – Magnus Mehta, Maurizio Ravalico
Soprano Saxophone – Mike Lesirge, Tamar Osborn
Tenor Saxophone – Mike Lesirge
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Simon 'Shwaa' Finch
Producer – Tamar Osborn

“The Search” is the second album from Collocutor, the London based ensemble led by Tamar Osborn. There is a vintage, authentic feel to the seven original tunes, with themes of spirituality, searching, belonging, and a sense of emotional grounding running through and connecting the pieces together. Modal jazz blends beautifully, beatifically, with an innate soulful expression to give the listener an intimate and engaging experience. 
Collocutor are: Tamar Osborn, baritone and soprano sax and alto flute, Simon Finch, trumpet and flugelhorn, Mike Lesirge, tenor and soprano sax, Suman Joshi, bass, Marco Piccioni, guitar, Magnus Mehta, percussion, and Maurizio Ravalico, percussion. The first thing to mention is that collectively, the band work incredibly well together, So much so that one can feel the expressive nature of their music. It is perhaps as it should be; the instruments being purely a vessel from which the artists breathe life through the music they make. 
Collocutor is the brainchild of saxophonist Tamar Osborn and the project grew from her wish to simply write the music that wanted to be written, rather than focus on a particular audience or context. As such, the compositions draw inspiration from the many genres encountered over a course of a varied career, ranging from jazz, afrobeat, Indian classical and Ethiopian roots to polyphonic choral music and minimalism – the link being primarily modal music with a transportive effect. There is an authentic ethnic feel that flows throughout this recording, and indeed, one that seems to underpin everything else. The music is at times minimalistic, at times coursing with unadulterated adventure, and at times burning brightly as Osborn’s vision sparks into life, transporting the listener to either a previously unexperienced dimension, or to deep within his/her own soul; tempting and teasing out emotive responses to what is being heard. 
‘The Search’ is such a bold album in so many ways, not least given the fact that Osborn appears to have an inner strength and confidence to go with her heart and make music in the way that she feels is right for her. The expressive nature of the music is thoughtful, intriguing and engrossing. It beguiles and it soothes and it transforms and it awakens. It opens up the mind, body and soul in an almost meditatively healing way, if you let it in. Embrace the source, let it live with you for a while, contemplate, swim with it, travel with it, and your journey will be one of rewarding fulfilment. Pick at it, throw it on and turn it off, half-listen, or try too hard to analyse it, and it might leave you for cold, wondering what it’s all about. 
Wonderful brass arrangements combine with etherial soloing, making everything sound so real, so grounded, yet at the same time, of another time and place. Graceful interludes, incisive passages, and experimental sounds work harmoniously to enrich and elevate the music being performed. Juxtaposed, fractured and tempestuous outcrops grow fleetingly alongside peaceful, sublime, judicious landscapes. The music breathes. It rises, it subsides, and like life itself, it rests, it races, it questions and it answers. And most of all, it doesn’t dictate, it simply allows the listener to see a doorway. Whether the listener chooses to go through that doorway and encounter whatever experience unfolds, is entirely up to them.
Mike Gates / UK Vibe