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TRACK LIST: 1. Rockstar Superstar 3:28 2. Vessel 9:28 3. Harlem Mist 6:24 4. Dreams of Solitude 8:46 5. Karlheinz 5:20 6. Momentom 4:26 7. Farewell Boston 7:39 8. Caveless Wolf 10:03 9. Ozzz 7:01 10. Cirage Violet 5:45 11. 139th & Lenox United 7:35 LINEUP: Casimir Liberski Ц piano, keyboards Jeffrey K. Witherell Ц drums Louis De Mieulle Ц bass Andy Berman Ц guitars
Prolusion. Belgian composer and musician Casimir LIBERSKI, partially residing in the US, has been an active musician for quite some time, despite being merely 25 years old, and he has participated on a good handful of albums so far. "The Caveless Wolf" is one of two productions released by his Casimir Liberski Trio, and was issued through his own label Dalang Records towards the end of 2012.
Analysis. I guess it won't come as a surprise that this album revolves around the piano. Liberski is the sole composer and his main instrument is the piano, and he gets to showcase his talent and repertoire in a fairly extensive manner throughout the 75 or so minutes this disc lasts. The stylistic expression of choice is probably best described as jazz, although Liberski does incorporate a few additional tendencies into his material on occasion. Liberski seems to be most at home when exploring music that appears to be a tad on the odd side of matters. Quirky, unusual patterns, utilizing unusual timbres and resonances, and there's a general feeling of improvisation in most of these compositions. I get the impression that a fair few have been composed with a set pace and basic motifs, with the supporting instrumentalists given some free reign to improvise while Liberski has a role with more extensive freedom. These are the main associations I got when carefully inspecting the eleven compositions presented. Besides Liberski's fairly unpredictable escapades, with alterations in pace and intensity aplenty, it would also appear that he's rather versatile on what I'd describe as a technical level. He's skilled at applying the gentle touch when needed, and he also employs impact notes to good effect. Dramatic sequences are supplied with the same ease as free flowing wandering excursions and intense movements with more of a scale movement-oriented expression, and he has the ability to combine the use of them in an apparently effortless manner within a single sequence too. As a composer he's also skilled in utilizing contrasts alongside ebbs and flows in intensity to maintain tension and interest, so that even the occasional composition that doesn't employ a great deal of variation comes across as an intriguing experience. The talents of drummer Witherell and bassist De Mieulle are key elements that elevate the overall experience however. As skilled and versatile as Liberski is as a performer, the subtly intense drum patterns and the basic contrasting motif supplied by the bass guitar are vital to the total experience. Both of these instrumentalists are excellent providers of supporting and supplemental details, and when given the occasional space to supply details of a more expressive nature they do so in an excellent manner. As for the style explored, it does mostly reside within jazz as mentioned, from relatively traditional jazz oriented excursions to quirky and even occasional free-form escapades like the opening third of the excellent and highly intense Momentom, this creation settling in a more traditional yet compact and intense expression following an initial phase of chaotic energetic wanderings. The track Farewell Boston actually steps outside of the otherwise jazz oriented universe explored, this one a delicate piano based balled with supporting guitar gradually increasing in intensity with delicate piano details and subtly distorted guitar details adding nuances that make this one an intriguing listen despite its somewhat more predictable nature.
Conclusion. Piano based and piano driven jazz is what Casimir Liberski Trio supplies on "The Caveless Wolf". Filled to the brim with elegant piano wanderings, quirky motifs, unpredictable patterns and a plethora of subtly odd sounding constructions one way or the other this disc should be a haven for those with an interest in a jazz pianist who doesn't merely stay put within his comfort zone, and with excellent support from a bassist and a drummer who supplement and elevate the overall experience, this is a very nice production indeed. A taste for jazz revolving around the piano is needed of course, as well as a taste for material that generally tends to stretch outside of the traditional scope, at least as I experience this artist and album.
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