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Friday, December 15, 2023

Omawi - Waive (Relative Pitch, 2023)

By Stef Gijssels

The Dutch band "Omawi" (short for Onno, Marta and Wilbert) consists of Marta Warelis on piano, Onno Govaert on drums, and Wilbert de Joode on double bass. This is their third album, after "Inscapes" (2018) and "Live At Roze Tanker" (2020), and it is an absolute winner. I already very much liked their previous albums, but this one goes even a step further. 

Warelis is an exceptional pianist, a little bit in the same vein as Eve Risser, someone who can appreciate the percussive and lyrical aspects of her instrument in equal measure, full of ideas and a good sense of sonic coherence and unrelenting dynamics. Her natural drive and energy are even made stronger and more powerful by Onno Gevaert's fireworks on the drums, and De Joode's equally exceptional skills and experience on bass. The trio moves as one, and is a real pleasure to hear from the very first note to the last. 

The album is a live performance, recorded in Zaal 100 in Amsterdam on October 12, 2021, in between the Covid-19 lockdowns and it presents a wonderful kind of escape, in which all the frustrations, social isolation and uncertainty get thrown overboard in a one hour long eruption of shards of sound, repetitive, percussive, urgent, with a strong sense of pulse without explicit rhythm, intense, vibrant, energetic, relentless, full of passion, power, fire, muscle, even in the quiet, more intense moments, but definitely when the volume picks up, in short, music that becomes a physical manifestation of internal energy and a real will to live again and to share it. 

Don't miss this one. 

Listen and download from Bandcamp

Below you can find a short excerpt from another concert that illustrates the band's sound and approach 


Steve Reynolds said...

As good a fairly standard piano trio as I’ve heard in a while. Saw her solo & in a trio early Summer. Stunning magical musician.