Endorfina is the fourteenth album of the Polish trio RGG – pianist Łukasz Ojdana (who took the R from founding pianist Przemysław Raminiak, who left RGG in 2013), double bass player Maciej Garbowski and drummer-percussionist Krzysztof Gradziuk, in over two decades of activity. The album was recorded on October 2019, as part of the initiative of the National Film Archive – Audiovisual Institute entitled «Fina na Ucho», at the same institute. The album is released on vinyl and in a longer version on disc.
The music of Endorfina was spontaneously improvised, an approach that challenges the perfectionist musicians of the trio, but natural for this trio who marvel with each sonic articulation and defies familiar categorizations. The trio has collaborated with distinct and innovative improvisers before like Evan Parker and Trevor Watts, Verneri Pohjola and Samuel Blaser, and worked for two years with great Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stańko.
Endorfina offers two untitled pieces. The 18-minute «I» highlights the organic way that the music flows and evolves, exploring more subtle nuances and colors, but keeping a healthy tension and cohesive course. The music, like in previous endeavors of RGG, references European jazz and contemporary music but is more introspective, impressionistic and poetic, cementing the profound, almost telepathic dynamics of the trio. The 34-minute «II» (the vinyl offers only a 19-minute version of it) begins with a more energetic and playful approach, rooted in the European jazz legacy, and emphasizes the strong individual voices and the inventive techniques of Odjana, Garbowski and Gradziuk, in individual solos and in collective improvisations. But mid-piece RGG returns to the minimalist, intriguing and introspective mode of the previous piece before resuming the playful, endorphin-laden mode towards the coda.
Łukasz Ojdana (p), Maciej Garbowski (b), Krzysztof Gradziuk (perc)