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Friday, May 29, 2009

Mikołaj Trzaska, Clementine Gasser & Michael Zerang - Nadir & Mahora (Kilogram Records, 2009) ****

Every new CD by Polish saxophonist Mikołaj Trzaska is one to look forward to, and this one also delivers the goods, in the good company of Swiss cellist Clementine Gasser and American percussionist Michael Zerang. The album is recorded live at the "Alchemia" club in Krakow, Poland (where else would it be?). Trzaska is not only a wonderful instrumentalist, but his musical creativity and sense of sound is possibly his greatest asset. He knows how to be intriguing, inventive, expressive and sensitive at the same time, adventurous and accessible at the same time. And in Gasser and Zerang he really found two soulmates. Gasser is a wonderful cello-player, wild and furious at times, heart-warming and bone-chilling, always creative and subtle when needed, also when playing in a more supporting role. Zerang too is a pleasure to hear, and he is as usual as defining for the music as the soloists, adding texture, depth and emphasis, performing a great intro for the the album's title song, as an avalanche introducing the repetitive and hypnotic single-note screeching of cello and sax, after which all three instruments move into an evocation of the sound of falling rain drops, that in turn change into light sustained sounds, all weird and sweet. Trzaska and Zerang I knew, and they more than deliver the expectations, but Gasser is absolutely stunning, with a really strong musical presence, a true revelation. I really hope to hear more from her.

Watch Trzaska and Gasser on Youtube (without Zerang, and without subtitles, but just go fast forward for the music pieces)

© stef