Polish piano-bass-drum trio Immortal Onion are a young group, early twenties. They’ve got mastery of their instruments and they have a sound that’s of their time. That’s how youth invents– as a desire to express present influences, driven by the winds of their taste. In their debut album, Ocelot of Salvation, one can hear an aural collage of what made them and what they have made in return.
And what of that eclectic, modern jazz taste? There’s hints of Tigran Hamasyan, or Phronesis, or Aron Ottignon here in the technicality the assorted compositional turns, the jumps in time, the prepared stops, the room set aside to build off pianist Tomir Śpiołek’s arpeggios. There’s some GoGo Penguin in these electronic influences, even in the acoustic setting, like the ever-escalating “Domesticate”. Or maybe a little Jason Lindner’s Now Vs. Now in the actually electric songs like “Torpor” (which sounds nothing at all like the word’s definition). Yet each of these songs are inventive travels in music, turning phrases and ostinatos into movements.
The trio of Śpiołek, bassist Ziemowit Klimek, and drummer Wojtek Warmijak have the capability to sound like a great many things as they form more as a group; they just got together in 2016. However, they’ve been wowing Poland in avery short time, impressing at festivals there and garnering attention on a local scale (which is where the genre is most notably consumed, of course). Warmijak is a hell of a drummer who dazzles in his solos. Klimek plays both acoustic and electric bass throughout the album and shines on both, though he’s got a bit more edge on the electric, like on the title track. As a unit, they are the model of a modern major jazz trio. They certainly aren’t pleasant or played out, which makes this debut album even all the more exciting to see what these dude from Poland will do next. In the meantime, we can keep playing this album until the next thing comes.
Ocelot of Salvation, the debut album from the trio Immortal Onion, is out now.
Piano : Tomir Śpiołek
Double Bass/Bass : Ziemowit Klimek
Drums : Wojtek Warmijak
Composed by Immortal Onion
Art Design by Aleksandra Szumska
Produced, Recorded, and Engineered by Ignacy Gruszecki atMonochrom Studio
Nextbop Editor-in-Chief Anthony Dean-Harris hosts the modern jazz radio show, The Line-Up, Fridays at 9pm CST on 91.7 FM KRTU San Antonio and is also a contributing writer to DownBeat Magazine and the San Antonio Current.