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Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Bartlomiej Oles & Tomasz Dabrowski - Chapters (Fenommedia, 2015) ****½

By Stef
I am not sure what happened to the Oles brothers (Bartlomiej on drums and Marcin on bass) in the last years, but after a very prolific period of new albums between 2005 and 2008, new releases were sparse in the last years, and I had been on the look-out for new material, because I like them a lot. So this year they're back with several albums, and more to come on this.

On this album we find drummer Bart in a fine duo with trumpeter Tomasz Dabrowski, a very talented young musician who has figured in several of our reviews in the past years, with his own TOM Trio, with 3D and a duo album with drummer Tyshawn Sorey.

And what about this one? It's gorgeous and fantastic. It's the kind of music that makes you dance on the spot out of sheer joy with what you hear. Bart Oles is a real wizzard on the drums, full of energy and sophisticated inventiveness, the kind of drummer who keeps any listener captivated by what's happening, even when playing solo, and while keeping the core pulse going, he keeps adding almost counter-intuitive beats that are nothing less than fascinating.

Dabrowski has an incredible tone and a very creative approach without resorting to extended techniques. He is also an emotional player, able to drag the listener in and taking her on journeys of jubilant joy or more contemplative sensitivities. Can I say the following? (really, can I say this?) Polish people, my apologies, but I once fell asleep during a concert of Tomasz Stanko. I doubt this will ever happen when listening to Tomasz Dabrowski. He's that good.

Have we heard this musical approach before? Yes, of course, and therefore a five-star rating may not be appropriate, but on all other aspects, the album is, as I said, it's really great: intense, captivating, instrumental mastership, fabulous interaction, authenticiy, inventiveness, ear-candy galore ... so don't miss it.