Oleś | Mahall | Tiberian | Oleś | Contemporary Quartet | Not Two Records

Not Two, 2002 | MW 744-2 | CD

Rudi Mahall – bass clarinet | Mircea Tiberian – piano | Marcin Oleś – bass | Bartłomiej “Brat” Oleś – drums

Recorded 18-19 April 2002 at Studio S-4 Radio Cracow, [Poland] by Aleksander Wilk. Mixed May 2002 at Studio Radio Tak Kielce [Poland] by Jacek Hajnrych. Music directors: Marcin & Bartlomiej “Brat” Oles. Produced by Marcin & Bartlomiej “Brat” Oles and Marek Winiarski.

Executive producer: Marek Winiarski. Cover photo: Mariusz Gross. Liner photos: Bartosz Winiarski.

Tracklist: 1. Prelude from Prelude for clarinet solo 1987 (Krzysztof Penderecki) [07:35] 2. Duet from Suita for oboe & piano 1954 (Stefan Kisielewski) [02:19] 3. Langueur from Langueur for piano 1990 (Marzena Komsta) [06:33] 4. Sonata I from Sonata for violin & piano 1953 (Krzysztof Penderecki) [02:11] 5. Sonata II from Sonata for violin & piano 1953 (Krzysztof Penderecki) [03:48] 6. Sonata III from Sonata for violin & piano 1953 (Krzysztof Penderecki) [06:38] 7. Foggy from Sonatina for oboe & piano 1955 (Grażyna Bacewicz) [03:29] 8. April for contemporary quartet 2001 (Bartłomiej Brat Oleś) [05:38] 9. Per Slava from Per Slava for cello solo 1986 (Krzysztof Penderecki) [09:31] 10. Seven Hands for contemporary quartet 2002 (Bartłomiej Brat Oleś) [08:18] 11. Bucolique no IV from Bucoliques for piano 1952 (Witold Lutosławski) [05:33]

We give you a CD

that is a product of our thoughts, fascinations, and several months’ hard work. The material included on it is a selection of compositions by Polish 20th-century contemporary composers, from the early post-war years up to the present hence the names Grazyna Bacewicz, Stefan Kisieleswski, Marzena Komsta, Witold Lutoslawski, and Krzysztof Penderecki show up here, as do pieces from various periods of their creativity. The choice of these, as opposed to other compositions was influenced in equal measure by our tastes/our bent towards chamber, music, as well as prosaic factors such as availabilifty of scores. All compositions on the CD used what is known as classical notation, which was our choice. We applied available contemporary compositional techniques, however, in the construction, or definition, of the form of improvisation. Despite the fact that our primary inspiration was that of the themes of the original compositions, it was in the forms of the respective pieces that we sought variation, while maintaining an affinity with 20th-century contemporary music. Thanks to the fact that it was possible to invite such outstanding improvisers as Rudi Mahall and Mircea Tiberian to participate, we were largely successful in achieving this. — Marcin & Bartlomiej “Brat” Oles

CONDETAIL

The idea was born two years ago

when two young Polish musicians Bartlomiej and Marcin Oles and Marek Winiarski the head of Not Two Records, asked me to participate, as producer, in a concert, whose repertoire was to be based on compositions by renowned Polish composers of contemporary music: Witold Lutoslawski, Krzysztof Penderecki, Grazyna Bacewicz…

I immediately recalled a concert and recording from thirty years ago, which was realized by Joachim Ernst Berendt at the Donaueschingen Music Festival. What took place then (1971) was a groundbreaking and musically unprecedented meeting of two worlds: those of the outer avant-garde of jazz (Don Cherry, Tomasz Stanko, Terje Rypdal, Kenny Wheeler, Albert Mangelsdorff) and the ultramodern music of Krzysztof Penderecki. I realized this was a chance and a pretext to return to that idea. Warm and engaging conversations with Mrs. E!zbieta Penderecka, as well as eagerness and enthusiasm on the part of Professor Krzysztof Penderecki, confirmed my belief that a unique artistic project could be realized under the aegis of ERA JAZZU. The international project “Penderecki….jazz”, thus, was a reference to that earlier marriage of contemporary music with jazz. l invited outstanding musicians: American French hornist Mark Taylor, Rumanian pianist Mircea Tiberian, German clarinetist Rudi Mahall, and renowned Polish musicians, the coauthors of the project, Bartlomiej and Marcin Oles.

CONRUDI

Rudi Mahall is considered to be one of the most interesting improvisers in jazz and contemporary music. He interprets the great composers of the 20th century with the same grace that he does the jazz classics. Though he appears with some of the most important orchestras of Europe, Mahall is more and more often associated with the avante garde jazz scene. His recording with Japanese pianist Aki Takase, “Duet For Eric Dolphy”, was declared album of the year and became a ticket to the world stage of jazz for the clarinetist.

CONMARCEA

Mircea Tiberian has been involved for over twenty years with some of the most significant groups in jazz, leads his own groups, and plays piano in the groups of Larry Coryell, Ed Schuller, Tomasz Stanko, Adam Pieronczyk and Marty Cook.

CONCONDETAIL1

Marcin Oles, bassist and composer tied with the contemporary jazz scene of Poland, won awards in the “individual” category at “Jazz nad Odra ’99” and “Jazz Juniors ’99”; co-founder of the Custom Trio (with brother Bartolomiej), he has realized some of the most interesting Polish jazz projects of recent years with trumpeter Andrzej Przybielski and saxophonist Adam Pieronczyk.

CONBRAT

Bartolomiej “Brother” Oles – drummer and composer, is considered among the very top musicians in new Polish jazz. His most well-known group is the Custom Trio, but he also works with various others from Poland’s jazz elite: Adam Pieronczyk, Mikolaj Trzaska, Maciej Sikala, Piotr Wojtasik. He also conceived the repertoire and musical arrangements for the concert “Penderecky…jazz”.

This project would never have come to fruition, were it not for the help, understanding, devotion and enthusiasm of the musicians, Mrs. Elzbieta Penderecka, Professor Krzysztof Penderecki, Marek Winiarski andWojtek Juszczak. My heartfelt thanks go out to all of them! This album is a perfect example of the mutual blending of jazz and the styles of contemporary music”. The heroes of the record are the musicians, perfect compositions, and a sound unlike any yet heard in Polish jazz. — Dionizy Piatkowski, ERAJAZZU

With their slightly oversize elegant hard card packaging

they look like Japanese imports, but they’re not. Not Two is a label run out of Cracow in Poland by jazz enthusiast (and manager of perhaps that country’s best jazz record shop) Marek Winiarski, and if these releases are anything to go by, it’s a label to watch. The Contemporary Quartet consists of Romanian pianist Mircea Tiberian, German bass clarinettist Rudi Mahall, and the Polish kickass rhythm section of bassist Marcin and drummer Bartlomiej Oles. Don’t be put off by the text “plays the music of Bacewicz, Kisielewski, Komsta, Lutoslawski and Penderecki” – this is no pale collection of oh-so-tastefully arranged Polish contemporary classical music, but a dynamic and hard swinging treatment of the kind of repertoire jazz musicians have usually tended to steer clear of, at least since the heady days of Gunther Schuller’s Third Stream experiments.

Taking Penderecki’s 1987 “Prelude” for clarinet solo as a bona fide head in its own right kick-starts the album in fine style; Mahall and Tiberian turn the theme inside out, while Oles and Oles power the music forward. Stefan Kisielewski’s “Duet” (from a 1954 “Suite” for oboe and piano) segues into Marzena Komstal’s “Langueur”, from a piano piece of the same name written thirty-six years later, without skipping a beat. Penderecki’s “Violin Sonata”, written back in 1953 long before the composer burst onto the contemporary music scene with the legendary “Threnody (for the Victims of Hiroshima)”, provides the source material for the three following tracks: “Sonata I” is a solo vehicle for Tiberian, followed – rather too abruptly methinks – by “Sonata II”, which finds Mahall negotiating the bass clarinet’s impossibly high register with frightening ease before letting rip with some awesome multiphonics while the austere counterpoint of the original continues underneath. “Sonata III” begins with an accomplished five-minute percussion solo before the band slips in with barely a minute to go to round things off with a unison flourish.

Two years after Penderecki penned his violin sonata, Grazyna Bacewicz wrote the “Sonatina for oboe and piano” that provides the material for following track, “Foggy”, essentially a long obbligato bass solo accompanied by some distantly menacing percussion. Drummer “Brat” Oles provides two pieces himself for the quartet, the first of which, “April” begins with a Mahall solo exploration before Tiberian inserts a rolling ten-note ostinato for (partially prepared) piano, over which Mahall and the composer trade extended technique licks. The music remains in improv (as opposed to jazz) territory for “Per Slava”, based once more on Penderecki, this time a cello solo of the same name written in 1986. Marcin Oles negotiates the high lyrical cello line on bass, while Mahall twitters and flutters around him, until Brat starts riding the cymbal like Jon Christensen and sends the music back to the supple freebop of 1970s ECM. If I were Manfred Eicher I’d be reaching for my phone.

“Seven Hands”, which also follows on from “Per Slava” without a break (if you weren’t watching the indexes change you’d never know), is Oles’ second original composition, and inhabits the same slightly melancholy harmonic world as the Penderecki, until once more it starts swinging furiously – Tiberian turns in his best solo on the album, and Mahall throws in a bundle of angular lines worthy of Eric Dolphy, until little by little he unravels the beat. For once, you’re expecting a segue into another piece, but instead there’s another rather peremptory fade. The closing track, “Bucolique no IV” from Witold Lutoslawski’s 1952 piano pieces of the same name, concludes proceedings on a somewhat reflective note. It’s beautifully played, but once more its rather sudden ending makes one wonder if its inclusion was absolutely necessary. Still, it’s but a minor quibble about a smashing record. — paristransatlantic

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