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Friday, December 26, 2008

Ensemble 56 - 1st Meeting Towards Sky Flight Of Dragon (Not Two, 2008) ****

I did not know this Polish-Hungarian band, consisting of Attila Dóra on alto, tenor sax and G clarinet, Rafal Mazur on acoustic bass guitar, and Mieczyslaw Górka on drums, and I'm glad I heard them now. These guys are as free as it gets, but full of soul and free improv leanings, and the trio's musicianship is just outstanding. They start in full force with fierce blowing and hard hitting over a non-explicit rhythm, then the trio moves into more organic sounds, playing with ambient bird songs on the second track. All three of them are a real pleasure to hear, with an unbelievable scope of technique, yet using this always in function of the musical project at hand, coherent and focused. These guys are good at the slow pieces, raw, natural, unbound by any constraints, blowing, plucking and hitting straight from the heart, giving this music a strange directness in its approach, and they are absolutely excellent in the more uptempo hypnotic rhythmic tracks, when Mazur's acoustic bass plays endless, almost tribal vamps with tiny variations and Górka's hard yet subtle drumming driving on Dóra's blowing into wild regions of our human subconscious, be it nighmarish or dreamlike, and anything in between.

© stef