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ASTIGMATIC 013 ~ POLAND ~ Jazz-Funk Fusion

Recorded: 2018 Released: 2020

This is the debut album by Polish quartet BlotoFind albums by this artist, which is a classic "Son of Godzilla" type of offshoot of the popular EABSFind albums by this artist ensemble, comprising of keyboardist Marek PedziwiatrFind albums by this artist (a.k.a. LatarnikFind albums by this artist), saxophonist Olaf WegierFind albums by this artist (a.k.a. Ksiaze SaxoniiFind albums by this artist), bassist Pawel StachowiakFind albums by this artist (a.k.a. Wuja HZGFind albums by this artist) and drummer Marcin RakFind albums by this artist (a.k.a. Cancer GFind albums by this artist). The quartet and its music are a result of an incidental gathering of these musicians in a studio, during a short break in the EABS tour, which resulted in a spontaneous recording session undertaken without any preparation whatsoever. The well oiled EABS PR machine as well as the contemporary sound and attitude managed to create a stir on the local market and even the COVID-19 pandemic did not manage to halt the viral reaction. The album presents ten tracks, which were cut from the ninety minutes of music that was recorded, lasting just above forty minutes.

The music is indeed fresh, vibrant and a great fun to listen to, but it is not that much different from the improvised passages played during EABS live performances, which of course is not very surprising. Hypnotic groove, synthesizer soundscapes, dynamic rhythms and almost Free Jazz solos on top are a well oiled formula that EABS perfected over time and this session basically offers nihil novi sub sole.

The album´s title and the PR material allude to a parallelism between this album and the iconic recording "KorozjeFind albums with this title" by Polish Jazz legends Andrzej KurylewiczFind albums by this artist and Tomasz StankoFind albums by this artist. Personally I find nothing in common between these two albums and the unnecessary references to the Polish Jazz history are more damaging than useful. EABS are not like any of the Polish Jazz past icons, and they don´t need to be. They are an excellent ensemble living in a different era and playing music that has five decades of additional musical influences to absorb, which they indeed do all the time.

Overall this album offers many great moments and an ambience that brings young generation of listeners closer to Jazz, which by itself is a great success. It is first and foremost oriented towards the wide circle of the EABS fans base, but being less visceral that the EABS albums, it also appeals to new listeners, which again is a good thing. These guys are excellent musicians and they still have a lot of youthful enthusiasm and creativity, so let´s enjoy them as long as that lasts. Is it Jazz?... Frankly, my dears, I don´t give a damn!
Updated: 20/06/2020Posted: 20/06/2020CD 1 Digipak Recommend To A Friend

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