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Marcin Wasilewski Trio - Arctic Riff

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Arctic Riff

Marcin Wasilewski Trio, Joe Lovano

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The first meeting between Polish pianist Marcin Wasilewski and saxophonist Joe Lovano, 2020's Arctic Riff is a richly textured and atmospheric recording. Joining them are Wasilewski's longtime associates bassist Sławomir Kurkiewicz and drummer Michał Miśkiewicz. Together since the early '90s, Wasilewski's trio gained widespread acclaim in Europe as members of the late trumpeter Tomasz Stanko's ensemble before embarking on their own. Arctic Riff is Wasilewski's sixth solo outing for ECM, following 2014's Spark of Life with saxophonist Joakim Milder and 2018's Live. The album also arrives on the heels of Lovano's own ambient and exploratory 2019 ECM album Trio Tapestry. Both Wasilewski and Lovano bring decades of experience to their collaboration, drawing upon a wealth of straight-ahead post-bop and avant-garde-leaning projects. Arctic Riff benefits from both ends of the spectrum with tracks that move from the conventional to the completely abstract. The opening, "Glimmer of Hope," is a particularly accessible piece, evoking the languid and dusky atmosphere of '70s neo-noir films like Body Heat and Chinatown. Similarly, "L'amour Fou" is a brisk, French-sounding hard bop number that brings to mind Dexter Gordon's later-career output. More outre are cuts like "Stray Cat Walk," with its slinky free-jazz interplay between Lovano and Wasilewski. Also intriguing is the impressionistic "Arco," which finds bassist Kurkiewicz laying down a moody, bowed improvisation as the rest of the band join in with an eerie soundscape of woody bird tones, percussive gongs, and sparkling, off-kilter harmonies. Elsewhere, they stumble into "A Glimpse," with Lovano and Wasilewski dancing against the rhythm section like bugs flitting against a porch light. They also offer two artfully shaded variations of Carla Bley's "Vashkar," the latter of which finds Kurkiewicz laying down heavy bass chord waves for Lovano and Wasilewski to surf over. They return to languid territory on "Old Hat," a slow, elegant ballad that sparkles with the saxophonist's swooning tones and the pianist's sun-dappled chords. Arctic Riff is an absolutely transfixing collaboration that makes the most of Lovano and Wasilewski's deeply empathetic skills.
© Matt Collar /TiVo

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Arctic Riff

Marcin Wasilewski Trio

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1
Glimmer Of Hope
00:08:33

Joe Lovano, Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gerard De Haro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Marcin Wasilewski, Composer, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Michal Miskiewicz, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Slawomir Kurkiewicz, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Marcin Wasilewski Trio, MainArtist - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

2
Vashkar
00:05:56

Joe Lovano, Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gerard De Haro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - CARLA BLEY, Composer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Marcin Wasilewski, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Michal Miskiewicz, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Slawomir Kurkiewicz, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Marcin Wasilewski Trio, MainArtist - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

3
Cadenza
00:09:12

Joe Lovano, Composer, Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gerard De Haro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Marcin Wasilewski, Composer, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Michal Miskiewicz, Composer, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Slawomir Kurkiewicz, Composer, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Marcin Wasilewski Trio, MainArtist - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

4
Fading Sorrow
00:06:01

Joe Lovano, Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gerard De Haro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Marcin Wasilewski, Composer, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Michal Miskiewicz, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Slawomir Kurkiewicz, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Marcin Wasilewski Trio, MainArtist - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

5
Arco
00:04:00

Joe Lovano, Composer, Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gerard De Haro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Marcin Wasilewski, Composer, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Michal Miskiewicz, Composer, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Slawomir Kurkiewicz, Composer, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Marcin Wasilewski Trio, MainArtist - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

6
Stray Cat Walk
00:02:32

Joe Lovano, Composer, Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gerard De Haro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Marcin Wasilewski, Composer, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Michal Miskiewicz, Composer, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Slawomir Kurkiewicz, Composer, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Marcin Wasilewski Trio, MainArtist - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

7
L’amour Fou
00:08:52

Joe Lovano, Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gerard De Haro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Marcin Wasilewski, Composer, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Michal Miskiewicz, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Slawomir Kurkiewicz, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Marcin Wasilewski Trio, MainArtist - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

8
A Glimpse
00:02:10

Joe Lovano, Composer, Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gerard De Haro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Marcin Wasilewski, Composer, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Michal Miskiewicz, Composer, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Slawomir Kurkiewicz, Composer, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Marcin Wasilewski Trio, MainArtist - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

9
Vashkar Var.
00:04:38

Joe Lovano, Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gerard De Haro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - CARLA BLEY, Composer - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Marcin Wasilewski, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Michal Miskiewicz, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Slawomir Kurkiewicz, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Marcin Wasilewski Trio, MainArtist - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

10
On The Other Side
00:05:01

Joe Lovano, Composer, Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gerard De Haro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Marcin Wasilewski, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Michal Miskiewicz, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Slawomir Kurkiewicz, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Marcin Wasilewski Trio, MainArtist - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

11
Old Hat
00:05:35

Joe Lovano, Saxophone, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Gerard De Haro, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Manfred Eicher, Producer - Marcin Wasilewski, Composer, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Michal Miskiewicz, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Slawomir Kurkiewicz, Double Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Marcin Wasilewski Trio, MainArtist - Nicolas Baillard, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2020 ECM Records GmbH, under exclusive license to Deutsche Grammophon GmbH, Berlin

Album Description

The first meeting between Polish pianist Marcin Wasilewski and saxophonist Joe Lovano, 2020's Arctic Riff is a richly textured and atmospheric recording. Joining them are Wasilewski's longtime associates bassist Sławomir Kurkiewicz and drummer Michał Miśkiewicz. Together since the early '90s, Wasilewski's trio gained widespread acclaim in Europe as members of the late trumpeter Tomasz Stanko's ensemble before embarking on their own. Arctic Riff is Wasilewski's sixth solo outing for ECM, following 2014's Spark of Life with saxophonist Joakim Milder and 2018's Live. The album also arrives on the heels of Lovano's own ambient and exploratory 2019 ECM album Trio Tapestry. Both Wasilewski and Lovano bring decades of experience to their collaboration, drawing upon a wealth of straight-ahead post-bop and avant-garde-leaning projects. Arctic Riff benefits from both ends of the spectrum with tracks that move from the conventional to the completely abstract. The opening, "Glimmer of Hope," is a particularly accessible piece, evoking the languid and dusky atmosphere of '70s neo-noir films like Body Heat and Chinatown. Similarly, "L'amour Fou" is a brisk, French-sounding hard bop number that brings to mind Dexter Gordon's later-career output. More outre are cuts like "Stray Cat Walk," with its slinky free-jazz interplay between Lovano and Wasilewski. Also intriguing is the impressionistic "Arco," which finds bassist Kurkiewicz laying down a moody, bowed improvisation as the rest of the band join in with an eerie soundscape of woody bird tones, percussive gongs, and sparkling, off-kilter harmonies. Elsewhere, they stumble into "A Glimpse," with Lovano and Wasilewski dancing against the rhythm section like bugs flitting against a porch light. They also offer two artfully shaded variations of Carla Bley's "Vashkar," the latter of which finds Kurkiewicz laying down heavy bass chord waves for Lovano and Wasilewski to surf over. They return to languid territory on "Old Hat," a slow, elegant ballad that sparkles with the saxophonist's swooning tones and the pianist's sun-dappled chords. Arctic Riff is an absolutely transfixing collaboration that makes the most of Lovano and Wasilewski's deeply empathetic skills.
© Matt Collar /TiVo

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