Paul Grabowsky




moons resThe link to Paul Grabowsky’s brilliant 2014 release The Bitter Suite is unmistakable. Listen to the inky darkness that shadows the notes; that charges the mood variously with portentousness, melancholy or desolation; that lurks behind each line, or just around the corner from a jauntier moment – much as life likes to slap you down if things start to go too well. Again Grabowsky has assembled a sextet to realise these challenging, disturbing sonic visions, but one with no overlap to The Bitter Suite personnel (beyond himself), and if anything the chosen players and instrumentation compound the storm-cloud weight in the air.

Besides his own startling piano contributions, the featured soloists are violinist Erkki Veltheim, whose exceptional improvising has routinely shown a predilection for eeriness, and Scott Tinkler, whose trumpet playing so often carries a sense of anguished, meteoric light blazing through opacity. Another spooky influence is Peter Knight’s electronics, which only deepen the musical shadows, while bassist Philip Rex and drummer Dave Beck lend the grooves a combative edge. It’s hard not to hear Grabowsky’s Eastern European blood infusing the daring compositions on this digital-only release.