Cuneiform: Tatvamasi – Parts Of The Entirety / dieses Wochenende für Five

„Tatvamasi’s debut album Parts of the Entirety does more than just hold a great deal of promise. Straight out of the gate, they’re an awfully convincing act. Parts of the Entirety deals out all of modern jazz’s best traits — playful performances, major/minor key ambivalence, asymmetric song shapes and the occasional art of the unlikely melody…“ – PopMatters

Born out of cataclysm and nurtured in silence and solitude, the music of Tatvamasi reveals hidden depths of the 21st century Polish soul. Inspired by both traditional (Slavic folk music) and avant-garde music (genre-defying NY downtown groups like Curlew), and inflected by jazz, avant and progressive rock, and Delta Blues, Tatvamasi is an extraordinary instrumental ensemble that plays scorching, electric jazz infused with Eastern European rhythms and defined by searing tenor sax riffs, crunching electric guitar, and a loose and sinewy rhythm section tandem of bass and drums. With the quartet’s debut album Parts of The Entirety (Części Całości), Tatvamasi opens up new territory, bringing the narrative heft of jazz to the sturdy forms of folk music.

“The compositions are designed to form an invitation to play, to improvise, to compose and to create the world within, the world of imagination,” says guitarist Grzegorz Lesiak, the band’s founder and guiding spirit. “The music awakes thoughts, provokes images. The spirit takes its effect, a violet haze wreaths a mysterious goal of the journey into the wild of thyself.”

The band traces its origins back to a devastating 2003 car crash that left Lesiak hospitalized for many months. In the midst of a thriving career as an experimental folk musician immersed in Polish and Ukrainian (Hutsul and Bojko) roots music, he was an expert acoustic and classical guitarist and specialist on folkloric Eastern European string instruments like the mandola and dutar. While touring the folk circuit tour, he barely survived a crash that claimed the life of a beloved fellow musician, cost him some of his hearing, and closed one chapter of his life. Lesiak spent the next decade largely off the scene, reinventing himself musically. But the time he reemerged in 2013, he had constructed a vividly detailed, emotionally probing and spiritually numinous musical world that he christened Tatvamasi.

The name is drawn from a Sanskrit phrase, “tat tvam asi” that means “that thou art,” and reflects the spiritual path that brought him back to life and music. During his decade of musical solitude, Lesiak created the new sound he wanted to pursue entirely in his head. But eventually he felt the call to bring it forth into the world, and availed himself of an electric guitar, wrote out the compositions and recruited a group of friends for Tatvamasi.

Since this fairly awe-inspiring debut, which was recorded live in the studio in two days, the band have released six additional albums of music that veers back and forth between more purely improvised and complexly scored rock!

released October 8, 2013

Grzegorz Lesiak guitar
Tomasz Piqtek tenor sax
Lukasz Downar bass guitar
Krzysztof Redas drums

All compositions by Grzegorz Lesiak.
Arrangements by Tatvamasi.

Recorded at Andrzej Rewak Studio, Warsaw, Poland, February 11-13, 2013.
Mixed and mastered at Polish Radio M-1 Studio, Warsaw, Poland, February 14-15, 2013.
Engineer: Wojciech Przybylski.

Photos Marcin Sudzinski
Cover Design, Photocollage Malgorzata Rybicka
Logo Kamil Filipowski

„Admirers of …groups embracing the jazz-rock and progressive rock genres may find a lot to get revved up about with the Polish quartet, Tatvamasi. No doubt, it’s an aggressive unit, armed with a vibrant demeanor as they tread across the jazz and rock terrains with polyrhythmic grooves, accentuated by the frontline’s high-impact mode of delivery.
The musicians‘ agility amid a throng of sub-motifs and variable pulses are often framed on complex unison choruses, rapidly executed paradigm shifts and a few episodic passages where tenor saxophonist Tomasz Piqtek skirts the free-jazz schema.“

AllAbout Jazz

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