Label: Taso Music Production - TMP CD 515 • Format: CD Album • Country: Germany • Genre: Jazz, Folk, World, & Country •
It has been almost a decade since bassist Vitold Rek's EastWestWind first combined jazz, classical and world folk music into a tangible new sound. On "Home", Vitold Rek also reveals his mastery of the mandolin, featuring it side by side with his incredible bass playing.
In the process, he is able to call up Polish, Greek, Scottish and Jewish coloration to facilitate a broad group sound. Among the many world music idioms that have been interwoven into Rek's music is klezmer, the Jewish folk music of Eastern Europe, whose delicate modes and forms have seen a recent resurgence in their combination with modern jazz.
For EastWestWind's second member, Rek has called upon someone who himself is no stranger to groundbreaking projects, Polish accordionist Jaroslaw Bester. As founder of the internationally acclaimed Cracow Klezmer Band, Bester has been at the forefront of the current renaissance in Eastern European world music.
A player whose adventurous energetic spirit is combined with a peerless mastery of chordal and melodic shadings, Bester is the perfect soulmate to impart Rek's musical ideas. Exponentially extending the reach of this remarkable trio is percussionist Ramesh Shotham who brings his large array of traditional Indian instruments.
Equally comfortable in the three worlds of jazz, rock and classical South Indian music, he can both follow Rek's lead and propel these tunes in interesting new rhythmical and melodic directions. Shotham uses the pitch bending capabilities of the double headed thavil, the mridangam's bass and treble membranes, the tamborine like kanjira and mouth percussion or konakol to produce blindingly complex rhythms. Above all, the melange of jazz and Klezmer, of Polish folk music and Celtic influences just sounds outrageously good.
On "Home" Vitold Rek continues to use jazz harmonies in his music but he gives them greater depth with klezmer and folk music He explores folk music on eight of the tracks basing his compositions on idioms from Greece, Scotland and Poland. Praeludium XXVI, BWV 871 - Bach* - Blandine Verlet - Clavecin are two klezmer tunes one of which, "Di Saposkelekh" is traditional, a composition by Shotham titled "Buzz Off" and one by Bester called, quite simply, "Emotions".
That's an eclectic mix and if interest is piqued, the CD certainly satisfies it in spades Rek combines two Scottish folk tunes to come up with "Scottish Scott". The resonance is deep as Rek bows his bass in tandem with Bester's accordion. Rek adds another beckoning when he plays the mandolin and lights up the reel, but it is his arco and the sway Tell Me My Boy - Vitold Rek & East West Wind - Home swerve of his lines that give the tune its soul.
The universal language of music is exemplified as Come Si Fa - Laura Pausini - Tra Te E Il Mare plays the ghatam, his Indian rhythmic cycle fitting compactly into the groove of the arrangement.
The composition has a deep, vibrant melody that rises form Rek's bow, heartfelt and churning Bester takes the accordion across the spectrum, his upper register evoking a sense of loss. It's a poignant tune, made all the more powerful by the trio. La" is a happy lark. Rek bows with abandon letting the melody stand up Tell Me My Boy - Vitold Rek & East West Wind - Home sing, a skein that Tell Me My Boy - Vitold Rek & East West Wind - Home takes up with delight.
Add Shotham's heady percussive beat and this one says 'get up and dance! This Polish—Indian trio feeds the brain and imbues the emotions. The way in which Vitold Rek, double bassist par excellence and mandolin ace, accordion magic- man Jaroslaw Bester and percussionist Ramesh Shotham cross the traditional and modern is amazing. Folk music from Scotland to Greece, Klezmer and Tango profit from great virtuosity, spirited rhythm and a tightly contoured, dynamic recording with an enormously clean sound at the deeper range of tones.
The second audiophile CD of the month! Double Bassist no. Rek's original tunes are imaginatively arranged and played so as to draw-out the melancholy from the ancient, folkish modes that fascinate him. Having first emerged as bassist for trumpeter Tomasz Stanko, Rek has since recorded with saxophonists Charlie Mariano and John Tchicai, and Home is his eighth recording for the Taso label.
His trio includes accordionist Jaroslaw Bester, founder of the formidable Cracow Klezmer Band, and the colourful south Indian percussion of Ramesh Shotham. Via judicious overdubbing, Rek himself adds mandolin, resulting in a fresh and vivid group sound The bass leads the group throughout but this is a well-balanced trio, that Nothing Can Change This World Of Mine - Golden Earrings* - Miracle Mirror the most of each member's abilities.
The Polish double bassist Vitold Rek deserves great credit for pioneering this innovative approach to the 'jazz of the future' The greater part of the material on the CD was written by the leader and is a synthesis between jazz, classical and folk music Polish, Jewish, Scottish and Indian. The gigantic sound of the double bass is filled to the brim with Bester's songful playing and with Shotham's oriental rhythm. After the vigorous 'Mr.
La' and after the elegic 'Tell Me My Boy' we do indeed, in the form of the frolicking, upbeat final track 'Let's Go Home' have the explanation as to where the 'Home' of the CD title lies. Let's go home', are the nonchalant closing words. It can also simply lie in the Taunus, where Vitold Rek lives today. With regard to instrumental artistry, richness and quality of sound, the high level of the improvisation, the melodic and harmonic beauty, and the ability of the musicians to listen to and connect with one another, 'Home' is indeed impressive.
This album will be the pearl in everyone's collection.
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