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TOMASZ CHYLA ~ CIRCLESONGS
POLSKIE RADIO 2208 (Barcode: 5907812244033) ~ POLAND ~ Avant-Garde Jazz

Recorded: 2018 Released: 2018

This is the second album by young Polish Jazz violinist / composer Tomasz ChylaFind albums by this artist, recorded with his quintet which also includes saxophonist Piotr CheckiFind albums by this artist, pianist Szymon BurnosFind albums by this artist (also in charge of the electronic effects), bassist Krzysztof SlomkowskiFind albums by this artist and drummer Slawomir KoryznoFind albums by this artist. The album presents fifteen relatively short original compositions, all of which were collectively composed by the quintet members, grouped into three "circlesongs".

In complete contrast to the debut album, the music on this album is a cosmic jump into Avant-garde, Free Jazz and Improvised Music, which comes as an overwhelming and complete surprise. One can expect development and progression, sometimes gradual and in other cases quite rapid, but taking such a dramatic and drastic step, like in this case, is almost unheard off.

As a result the music almost completely shuns any effort to be described. "Making love via telephone" comes to mind in this case, as words are simply inadequate to express the essence of this music, surely not adequately. So what can be said? There is almost no melody, at most short bursts of a few consecutive notes, no steady rhythm, but rather drone like passages, little dynamics and no soloing in the traditional sense. At times the music sounds like contemporary minimalist music, at others like Free Jazz group improvisation, and yet at others like Avant-garde soundscapes of cinematic or theatre music.

But enough of trying to describe the music; which is an a priori futile attempt anyway. The most important thing is that this innovative and courageous approach works out amazingly well and the music is simply astounding. It manages to drown in the listener completely and entangle his attention like a spider´s web. The continuity and constant development creates a natural flow, which when succumbed to, takes the listener on a phantasmagorical journey into the unknown. Listening to the music for the first time is a shocking experience but consecutive listening sessions have the power of addiction.

It makes no sense to write about the individual contributions by the quintet members, as this album is a classic team effort. My praise goes to the leader, who keeps his playing on the same level, and perhaps even more modest, that his cohorts, which in this case is the most sensible decision. These players have already proved their chops on numerous other recordings, and this music is all about unison.

It is not often that a new genre / idiom / form is created in music, especially so in Jazz (in its broad meaning), but this album definitely is an eye (ears) opener in many aspects. Many of the elements used here have been tried out earlier on, but placing them together in this specific climate, order and context is completely innovative, even for the Polish Jazz scene, which bursts with innovation. One can not predict the future of course, but this album is definitely a Giant Step as far as Polish / European Jazz are concerned and only future will tell of its influence on the genre. It epitomizes everything that European Jazz stands for: innovation, inventiveness, boldness, open-mindedness, elegance and beyond all musical aesthetics, which exists only in Europe.

To put things boldly: this is a fucking great album (excuse my French) and you better believe it!

As far as I am concerned, this album is already the winner of the best Polish Jazz album for 2018 and it will take a miracle to change my mind. I am not so sure if the usual bunch of Polish Jazz "critics" will be able to swallow this music so easily, but who gives a damn. Hopefully they will, as usual, follow my lead, even when they hate the music.
Updated: 21/10/2018Posted: 21/10/2018CD 1 Digipak Recommend To A Friend

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