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Friday, May 20, 2011

Marcin Wasilewski Trio - Faithful, ECM 2011 ***½

By Paul Acquaro

When listening to the Marcin Wasilewski Trio's Faithful, I've begun developing a feeling that there is something that I'm not quite tuned in to. Having not heard this trio's music before but having read some laudatory write-ups online, I must I admit I was anticipating something, though what, I'm still not entirely sure.

Wasilewski's approach to piano is strikingly lush but at the same time employs a great economy. The phrasing is exquisite and the atmosphere, light and refreshing, is consistently applied. His trio is telepathic, and is a wonderful example of the interactions a group that has been working together for the better part of a decade can have. Their touch is impeccable and compliments the leader's piano perfectly.

The opening song, 'The Secret Marriage', is like an air cleansing rain. Slawomir Kurkiewicz's bass and Michal Miskiwicz's percussion lightly accents passages, but the song is pretty much features the piano and effectively bridges classical and jazz idioms. The next song, 'Night Train to You', features a more strident, yet still reserved, rhythm section. There are moments when the music is skating along, and employing open chordal voicings that remind me a little of the Pat Metheny Group circa Still Life Talking. Overall, it seems that the recording vacillates between these two styles, ethereal, almost solo piano and more rhythmic driving trio tunes.

This is a quiet recording with moments of both insistent rhythm and introspective melody. Its tone is positive and I appreciate the beauty of the melodies, but overall, I find myself trying hard to hear something more gripping. While I find the music to be a little too delicate, I do also have this feeling that when I return to listen at some point, I'll realize that I was indeed not getting it the first time.

See & hear Song For Świrek

(c) Paul Acquaro