Album Review: Marcin Wasilewski Trio, En attendant

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“En attendant” is the latest work of the polish pianist Marcin Wasilewsky and marks his seventh release for the German label ECM (and the fifth exclusively with his trio). The album is a refined conversation between Wasilewsky on piano, Slawomir Kurkievicz on bass and drummer Michal Miskievicz reflecting whispered words and calm reflections.

The album was conceived just prior Wasilewsky’s collaboration with the saxophonist Joe Lovano in 2020 (“Acctic Riff”). A delay in the flight of the American musician provided some unexpected time for the trio to experiment some ideas that eventually became this album.

The album is a collection of seven tracks blended is a wise way where we find total improvisation (In Motion Part I, II and III), refreshed classical variations (J.S. Bach Goldberg’s Variation), the timelessness of Carla Bley’s “Vashkar” and the hypnotic interpretation of the Doors classic “Riders on the Storm”. This elegant collection is completed by an original song written by the pianist titled “Glimmer of hope” This last piece is an intense rubato ballad floating its glistening motive through changing tonalities over Michal Miskiewicz’s detailed cymbals and drums.

The atmosphere of the recording is rarefied, ethereal and every note is measured, essential and conceived to give to the listener a sense of resonant images. The three movements of “In Motion” are a perfect example of a minimalistic approach through the use of free improvisation intended to explore new forms and structures and to deepen the interaction between the musicians.

“Glimmer of hope” is a fantastic ballad composed by Wasilewsky and my favorite track of the album. If I have to choose a word to describe it I would simply use: poetry. The melody here is romantic and more present; I am particularly impressed by the rhythm section here and their elegant support of Wasilewsky’s phrasing and the intention of the song.

On the other hand, I’m not entirely convinced by the version of Bach’s Variation N. 25 from the Goldberg Variations. Although very well played, I didn’t grasp the necessity to include it in a project of this nature. In my opinion It doesn’t add anything to the concept of the album especially if compared to the other tracks that make up this collection. Carla Bley’s “Vashkar” is masterfully interpreted by the trio. The bass solo here is lyrical, a superb example of interacting with the drums, sparse and yet powerful. Also “ Riders on the Storm” (from the famous Door’s album “L.A. Women, 1971) represents a nice transformation. Logically it’s quite different from the original however, rhythmically still consistent with the rest of the album.

If you need to meditate simply check out this album!

Marcin Wasilewsky, Piano | Slavomir Kurkievicz, Bass | Michal Miskievicz, Drums

1. In Motion (Part I) | 2. Variation No.25 from: Goldberg Variations | 3. Vashkar | 4. In Motion (Part II) | 5. Glimmer Of Hope | 6. Riders On The Storm | 7. In Motion (Part III)

Release Date: 10 September 2021
Format: CD | Digital
Label: ECM Records

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Last modified: September 10, 2023