Jazz artist Marcin Wasilewski released his latest record this week under the moniker of the Marcin Wasilewski Trio. The record, En attendant, is a presentation that will appeal to a very targeted audience what with its blend of originals and covers. The most notable of its originals is its three-part opus, ‘In Motion.’ It will be discussed shortly. The cover of legendary classical composer J.S. Bach’s ‘Goldberg Variation 25.’ It will be examined a little later. ‘Glimmer of Hope,’ which comes late in the record’s 43-minute run time, is yet another intriguing original featured in the album’s body. It will also be examined later. When it and the other songs noted here are considered along with the album’s remaining works, the whole makes En attendant a presentation that is worth hearing at least once.
En attendant, the new album from Marcin Wasilewski Trio, is an intriguing new offering from ECM Records. One listen through the nearly 45-minute album reveals it to be in its sound and style, so much like so many records released through the label by other acts. That is to say that each of its featured works is very quiet and subdued. To that end, the album, whose title allegedly translates roughly from Danish to Waiting, will find a very targeted audience through its featured songs. The three-part original composition, ‘In Motion’ serves well to support those statements. Spread out across the album, its three movements clock in between five-and-a-half minutes and nearly seven minutes. The first movement pays a very subtle, brief tribute to Miles Davis’ timeless record, Kind of Blue at one point as Marcilewski gently makes his way across the piano. His work, alongside that of bassist Slawomir Kurkiewicz, gives the first movement overall something of a rather melancholy mood at points while at others, changes the mood somewhat. Michael Miskiewicz’s work on the drums adds just enough controlled flare to make things interesting in that movement.
The song’s second movement, which serves as part of the record’s midpoint alongside the original, ‘Vashkar,’ changes things up notably. Kurkiewicz and Miskiewicz take the lead this time in this decidedly rhythmically based work. The subtleties in the duo’s performance here really demands audiences fully engage themselves in the composition in order to fully appreciate it. There are light taps on the cymbals, equally subtle rim knocks on the snare, and notes played on the double bass that when paired with the percussion, gives the song in general something of an expressionist sound and style. Wasilewski’s occasional strains on the piano add even more to that sense.
The third and final movement, which also serves as the album’s finale, changes things up yet again. Wasilewski takes the lead here again, but also allows his fellow musicians their own moments to shine throughout the gentle, flowing composition. Wasilewski’s performance on the piano pairs with those of his fellow performers to paint a picture (at least in this critic’s mind) of a quiet forest scene or a lea. A creek gently flows through the forest scene while in the other, the sun is coming up slowly and everything is waking up from the night. It is such a stark contrast to the song’s other two movements but when considered alongside them, makes the overall song that much more interesting. The three movements collectively make the song overall the album’s highest point.
‘In Motion’ is just one of the works that makes En attendant a unique new offering from Marcin Wasilewski trio. The trio’s take of J.S. Bach’s Goldberg Variation 25’ is of its own interest. In the case of this song’s performance, Wasilewski works well to stay true to the source material. The gentle, reserved nature that Bach intended in his work is on full display here. Wasilewski does a very good job of echoing the emotional depth of Bach’s original thanks to that dedication. Miskiewicz’s very controlled cymbal rolls add even more to that emotional depth while Wasilewski’s pairing with Kurkiewicz also adds its own unique touch to the whole through the subtle harmony that the pair create. Overall, this update of a timeless classical composition is a unique presentation that definitely is well worth hearing in this case.
‘Glimmer of Hope,’ another of the album’s featured originals, is just as intriguing as the other songs examined here and the rest of the album’s entries. While original, clearly, it conjures thoughts of prog-rock trio Liquid Tension Experiment’s song, ‘State of Grace.’ That is because the two songs two have such a similar style and sound in their bodies. Given there’s no guitar in this song, but the use of the piano and bass together really put forward so much of that similarity. It comes across just as much as a saccharine, romantic ballad type work as ‘State of Grace.’ To that end, it is another unique addition to En attendant that further makes this record worth hearing. When it is considered alongside the other songs examined here and with the album’s other entries, the whole makes the album overall worth hearing at least once.
En attendant, the brand-new album from Marcin Wasilewski Trio, is an intriguing record that will find itself a very targeted audience. That is evidenced through each of its featured works. The songs examined here make that clear in their diversity. Each boasts its own unique identity from its counterparts, and they are just as different from the album’s other works as from one another. That uniqueness in each composition makes the album worth hearing at least once and another intriguing new offering from ECM Records.
En attendant is available now through ECM Records. More information on this and other titles from ECM Records is available at:
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