Monday, March 17, 2014

Perry Robinson / Christian Ramond / Klaus Kugel / Robert Kusiolek - The Universe (2014) ****

Perry Robinson / Christian Ramond / Klaus Kugel / Robert Kusiolek

Perry Robinson - clarinet
Robert Kusiolek - accordion
Christian Ramond - double bass
Klaus Kugel - drums

The Universe (2014)

By Maciej Nowotny

Ever since his debut "Nuntium" (2011) I look forward for any recording by the accordionist Robert Kusiołek. In Poland there is no voice like his as he uses accordion creating music verging between the pure sonorostic experiment, contemporary classics and jazz. That is perhaps why, though being very original artist indeed, he remains rather unrecognized in our country: he is simply too difficult to put in any definite category. Unfortunately the public, and even more critics, loath music and musicians evading well-known labels. Yet please trust me if in music you feel inclined on taking "the roads less traveled" you will find this record very rewarding.

As on his first album Kusiołek leads the band consisting of four musicians: Klaus Kugel on drums, Christian Ramond on bass (replacing Ksawery Wójciński) and - very important change - Perry Robinson on clarinet instead of violinist Anton Sjarov. The music itself is clearly a continuation of what we could find on "Nuntium" but Robinson's clarinet changes thoroughly the sound of this ensamble. He does not need to be introduced as he is one of the leading American clarinetists for over half a century. But it should be underlined that he managed to fit perfectly into Kusiołek's ideas. Their dialogues supported by such a creative and technically proficient rhythm section as Kugel and Ramond well justify not one or two but many rehearsals of this album as there is plenty here to discover.

What I like most in Kusiołek's music is "the space". I believe only few musicians know how to use silence to provide their music with more breathing space, to add to it new dimension, a distant horizon. I speak through metaphors but I hope that those of you who are attentive listeners will understand. This "space" element is captured during live recordings what is as much impressive as necessary to avoid this music being too cold and sterile. Contrary to that although it remains somehow otherworldly yet it is very direct. A significant achievement!

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful, wonderful music. My favourite album of 2014. Thank you for bringing this gem to my attention.

    Best wishes for 2015.
    From Brisbane, Australia.


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