My new series What’s NEW!! in association with Cadence Jazz World and Cadence Magazine spotlights new music that is cutting edge and creatively impactful by emerging musical artists and/or established musical artists who have recently released CDs, digital recordings or soon to be released recordings of original music, new music, and music that reflects elements from a variety of musical sources/genres in addition to Jazz.
This month featured the music of Kuba Cichocki and his latest release with Brandon Seabrook entitled Brisk Distortions as well as a couple tracks from an earlier release Live at Spectrum with his group that includes: Kuba Cichocki – piano, Patrick Breiner – tenor saxophone, Sean Ali – bass, and, Flin van Hemmen – drums. This is my second edition of What’s NEW!! and I’m very energized to present it.
The first show was dedicated to the music of a young extraordinarily creative versatile guitarist, singer/songwriter by the name of Daniel Weiss who I will be writing about next. Daniel’s musical voice is what inspired this new series for the Nora’s Jazz Show podcast.
I am including my review of Kuba Cichocki’s Brisk Distortion Please take a moment to also check out the podcast below, and feel free to reach out to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org, I’d love to hear from you.
By: Nora McCarthy for Cadence Magazine, What’s NEW!! March3, 2021
The newly formed collaboration of pianist, composer, Kuba Cichocki and guitarist Brandon Seabrook, has produced an extraordinarily inventive CD. Their highly intuitive improvisational approach functions as one mind with two divergent sides that are at once seamlessly independent of the other often moving in opposite directions as well as simultaneously interdependently moving together toward the same muse in absolute synergy.
Their new release, Brisk Distortions, is a multi-sensorial experience. Observing the work from an aural and visual perspective initially, as they both are immediately and strongly present in this twenty-one track CD, I became aware of other elements that were arising out of the compositional improvisations that made it as much abstract performance art as musical art.
“Scribbles,” the first track on the CD, jumps right into the action pulling the listener in as it goes down a discovery hole into an unexpected journey that begins to unfold in a most magical way dissolving boundaries and expanding throughout, punctuated by conceptual pools in the form of short-often-under-a-minute interludes or rests that outline shapes, add textures and colors to the overall design and also provide a respite from the larger more developed improvisations. These connecting pivotal changes in the landscape take their direction from titles such as “Bounce,” “Bubbles,” “Cosmic,” “Leftovers,” “Naptime” and “Holes.” This is a journey you must take to the end in order to fully appreciate the profound artistic weight of this CD.
The sensation of flesh against strings is palpable, you can feel the sound of metal popping, slapping, and twanging against wood. The clarity of expression is as present as a spider’s intricate spinning and tethering of its web into silken perfection. The deliberate warping, twisting, and contorting of tones into a conversation between two instruments capable of transmitting thoughts through the language of sound is undiluted imagination at work.
Cichocki and Seabrook both provocatively alter the acoustics of their individual sounds and develop them into architectonic structures—from distortion to crystalline, delicate to intense, flat to sharp, dense to featherlight, intermingled with pianistic runs, jazz patterns, (I heard shades of Monk as well as reminiscences of Satie in Cichocki’s renderings,) a splash of vintage rock recollections, percussive thumps, avant-jazz comping, trills, electronic buzzing, all derived from the pure virtuosity and ingenuity of these two sound artists whose passionate improvisations paint a metaphysical mural rife with symbolic and allegorical meaning. The CD resolves into a dreamlike state, having reached its destination arriving at a place of serene tranquility as it floats away leaving the listener in blissful peace on the last track “Breathe Out.”
Highlights include: “Scribbles,” “Solid,” “Rays,” “Spots,” “Chainsawing ” and “Breathe Out”
5*****Fine modern musical art at its best.