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På skive

TOMASZ DĄBROWSKI AD HOC

«Ninjazz»
FOR TUNE

Jazz, as we know it, is a universal language, blurring geographical and cultural boundaries, and Polish, Copenhagen-based trumpeter Tomasz Dąbrowski proves it with his Japanese Ad Hoc quartet. There is nothing sinister or lethal in Ad Hoc’s sophomore album, «Ninjazz», following «Strings» (Airplane Label, 2015), featuring the same line-up – acclaimed pianist Hiroshi Minami, who collaborated before with another Copenhagen-based trumpeter, Danish Kasper Tranberg; double-bass player Hiroko Chiba and the drummer Hiroshi Tsuboi. «Ninjazz» was recorded in March 2018 in Warsaw and is release on vinyl and download options.

The title of the new album refers to the highest level of craftsmanship and refinement in martial arts. A Ninja is a warrior enveloped in a mysterious nimbus, a master of intuition, elusiveness, as well as the unexpected, he is the unseen and is trained to hit his mark with unerring precision. Jazz, by definition, is based on intuition but is far from anything that Ninja may aspire to. Dąbrowski insists that there are some parallels since Ad Hoc is a «band of no words», a quartet that creates its music «without using verbal communication». Ad Hoc’s music, most of it composed by Dąbrowski, pours like a wide stream with little use of formal means of composition. Somehow, Dąbrowski’s Slavic melancholy fits perfectly with the reserved spirit of his Japanese comrades.

«Ninjazz» is Dąbrowski’s most impressionistic album so far. His concise, highly melodic themes suggest miniature storylines. All these themes are commented briefly and gently and with remarkable restraint by Ad Hoc, solidifying the emotional impact of these themes. The quartet touches and goes a spectrum of of emotional territories, navigating on the first side through the urgent «Penalty Fare», the rhythmic «Concerns», the sparse «Oddly Abstract Nature» and the eerie «Perfectly Average». The second side of «Ninjazz» distills even further and deeper the emotional spirit of Ad Hoc with the lyrical ballad «Lines for Bogdan», that stresses the natural interplay of this quartet, Minami’s beautiful, minimalist «Helga», dedicated to Dąbrowski’s wife, the mysterious «Corrosive Power» and concluding with the ethereal and minimalist «The North».

Eyal Hareuveni

Tomasz Dąbrowski (tp, mutes), Hiroshi Minami (p), Hiroki Chiba (b, elec), Hiroshi Tsuboi (dr)

 

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