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Tatvamasi — Haldur Bildur
(Bandcamp Audio Cave ACD-010-2019, 2019, CD / DL)

by Jon Davis, Published 2022-03-11

Haldur Bildur Cover art

It’s time to catch up a little further with Tatvamasi, moving on from Amor Fati (2017) we get to Haldur Bildur (2019). Once again we find the band in their compelling blend of composition and improvisation. There are four tracks ranging from a bit over eight minutes to twelve and a half, and composer Grzegorz Lesiak (guitar) is joined by six musicians to fill out the arrangements: Łukasz Downar (bass), Małgorzata Pietroń (cello), Krzysztof Redas (drums), Tomasz Piątek (tenor sax), Jan Michalec (trumpet), and Anna Witkowska-Piątek (violin), all of whom save Michalec played on Amor Fati. Lesiak uses the instruments well in a variety of ways, sometimes resembling a RIO interpretation of Mahavishnu with the Visions of the Emerald Beyond lineup, as on “Prawdziwy Bohater Bawi Się Sam,” which has some great ensemble playing as well as wild solos from several of the players. “U.L.” reminds me at times of Cold Fairyland in the way the cello is used, but then goes off into a jazzy tenor solo, later followed by an off-kilter waltz led by the strings. “Chodzę Spać Do Rzeki” is initially quite jazzy, with a slinky bass line topped by a unison melody from the guitar, strings, and horns, somewhat in the mode of early 70s Nucleus. Lesiak and Piątek turn in tasty solos over a quick 5/4 groove — I particularly enjoy the chaotic guitar parts going on behind the sax solo. The title track finishes off the album in fine fashion, beginning with a tight ensemble arrangement of intersecting parts that devolves into a group improvisation in free time. After a few minutes, the bass and drums come together for an ominous riff that introduces another composed section, but it doesn’t last long before the freedom again reigns, this time for a longer spell. These sections have a lot going on, but they avoid getting too dense on the group improv, leaving each other space to be heard. The piece concludes with another composed section, which is an expanded variation of the previous parts. Haldur Bildur is a fun album for those who like a little chaos to spice up their chamber rock.

Filed under: New releases, 2019 releases

Related artist(s): Tatvamasi

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