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Maciej Obara Quartet ‎– Unloved (2017)

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Maciej Obara Quartet ‎– Unloved (2017)

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1.Ula
2.One For
3.Joli Bord
4.Unloved
5.Sleepwalker
6.Echoes
7.Storyteller

Alto Saxophone – Maciej Obara
Double Bass – Ole Morten Vågan
Drums – Gard Nilssen
Piano – Dominik Wania 

 

A distinct vernacular, unabashedly quixotic lyricism and an authoritative style of playing are among the notable characteristics that define Maciej Obara. The Polish saxophonist and composer had performed with Tomasz Stanko in the trumpeter's "New Balladyna Quartet" project and he has recorded with John Lindberg, Ralph Alessi, Mark Helias and Nasheet Waits. Obara was also on board for the Fonda/Stevens Group Trio + 2: Live in Katowice (Not Two, 2009). Unloved is Obara's ninth album and his ECM debut.

This quartet recording includes pianist Dominik Wania who had met and played alongside Obara as part of the aforementioned Stanko quartet. Wania has been part of Obara groups since 2012, most recently recording Live at Manggha and Komeda, both on the For Tune label in 2013. Ole Morten Vågan has appeared on nearly forty recordings including eight with the group Motif, featuring trumpeter Mathias Eick. The Norwegian bassist has composed for Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and was a member of keyboardist Bugge Wesseltoft's New Conceptions of Jazz project. The prolific drummer Gard Nilssen has appeared on more than thirty recordings and has worked with the likes of Tore Brunborg, Mathias Eick, Arild Andersen and Helge Lien. Like Wania, he was part of the two Obara live recordings.

"Ula"is a thoughtful ballad as is "Joli Bord," highlighted by subtle interplay between Obara and Wania and the saxophonist's occasionally soaring breakouts. "One For" has a lighter feel, emphasized by Wania's bright and nimble piano. An omnipresent contributor to so many Polish jazz albums, the late Krzysztof Komeda wrote the title track. "Sleepwalker" and "Echoes" are more open improvisations and provide the opportunity for Morten Vågan and Nilssen to stand out. The latter of the two features a blistering Obara solo. The soulful "Storyteller" closes the album with Obara's long searching lines, Wania delicate phrasing against a wash of cymbals.

Manfred Eicher's vision of the ECM style of improvised music has always been as defined as is possible, though the label carries less of a distinct "sound," relative to its overall output. That said, the music of Unloved speaks to a familiar aesthetic sensibility leaving no doubt that Obara's work is perfectly at home here. The Polish/Norwegian quartet plays with one mind but the individual synapses fire in many direction. The players anticipate each other's movements and set their courses with a mixture of refinement and flair. ---Karl Ackerman, allaboutjazz.com

 

„Unloved” to jeden z najważniejszych albumów jazzowych roku, którym Maciej Obara, polski saksofonista altowy, debiutuje w prestiżowej, monachijskiej wytwórni ECM Records. Maciej Obara to trzeci polski artysta po Tomaszu Stańce oraz Marcinie Wasilewskim, który pod własnym nazwiskiem nagrał płytę dla tej historycznej już dziś wytwórni. Przez wiele lat katalog polskich artystów w ECM pozostawał niezmienny i dopiero dzięki Obarze możemy pochwalić się obecnością kolejnego przedstawiciela naszej rodzimej sceny wśród najważniejszych międzynarodowych gwiazd muzyki jazzowej, takich jak Jan Garbarek, Keith Jarrett, Avishai Cohen, Charles Lloyd, Pat Metheny, John Abercrombie, czy Jack DeJohnette.

Maciej Obara od początku kariery konsekwentnie rozwija swój własny język muzyczny. Choć współpracował z wieloma artystami z Japonii, USA i Europy, to od lat jego priorytetowym projektem jest autorski kwartet, w skład którego wchodzą: pianista Dominik Wania, kontrabasista Ole Morten Vagan oraz perkusista Gard Nilssen. Formacja reprezentuje wąską grupę europejskich muzyków, którzy świadomie i bezkompromisowo omijają muzyczne dosłowności, kreując swój własny styl. Najnowsza płyta zespołu „Unloved” jest dziewiątym autorskim albumem w dyskografii Macieja Obary. Opublikowane nagrania jak i koncerty grane na scenach najważniejszych światowych festiwali jazzowych zbudowały zasłużoną i niepodrabialną markę Macieja Obary.

Album „Unloved” został nagrany w Rainbow Studio w Oslo w styczniu 2017 roku, a wyprodukował go legendarny producent muzyczny Manfred Eicher. Jest to pierwszy międzynarodowy krążek, a zarazem pierwszy studyjny album kwartetu. ---Karolina Majewska, jazzforum.com.pl

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