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TZADIK 8169 (Barcode: 702397816928) ~ POLAND ~ Jazz-World Fusion

Recorded: 2011 Released: 2012

This is a debut album by the Polish Jazz-World Fusion quartet SamechFind albums by this artist, which consists basically of a string trio: Anna OstachowskaFind albums by this artist who plays voila, Magdalena PlutaFind albums by this artist who plays cello and Marek LewandowskiFind albums by this artist, who plays double bass with percussionist Robert SztorcFind albums by this artist (who in his distant past was a member of the Prog outfit T.A.O.Find albums by this artist). The quartet plays acoustic music, which to some extent is based on Jewish and Klezmer music elements, but takes the music much further into Medieval European music, Turkish swirling rhythms, Sephardic, rather than Ashkenazi musical tradition and the Iberian Peninsula Moorish heritage.

The album consists of ten wonderful pieces, seven of which are written by Ostachowska or co-written / co-arranged with Agata KrauzFind albums by this artist, one is by Krauz herself, one is co-written by Pluta and Lewandowski and the remaining one is by the DavkaFind albums by this artist ensemble (another great Jewish Music ensemble, from US, which also records for the TzadikFind albums on this label label). The incredible sound of the viola and cello combined with the bass pulsations and mostly Oriental percussion is simply stunning and completely unique, which immediately places Samech in a class of its own.

The performances are all very exciting and manage to keep the listener on his toes through the entire duration of the album. The overall sound is well balanced with all four instruments clearly audible, which is such a relief opposite the much cluttered sound one comes across so often in contemporary recordings. This is a perfect example of innovation rather than imitation, which of course is highly commendable.

The album should delight many quite diverse audiences, as it speaks to World Music, Classical and Jazz connoisseurs alike and is of course highly recommended. Hopefully the ensemble will follow the superb debut effort with additional future achievements. Well done indeed!
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