- James Holden and Polish jazz musicians pursue a state of trance in four live jams.
- In a conversation with James Holden, Wacław Zimpel described his approach to music as "meditation in action." Clearly, the two have something in common. On his journey from progressive house superstar to kosmische experimentalist, Holden's main constant has been his love of the trance state. He and Zimpel make natural collaborators. Their first EP together, Long Weekend, was recorded over several days of spontaneous improvisation, at times with guitarist Jakub Ziołek. Taking a step back from the jazzy wilderness of Holden's Animal Spirits band, Long Weekend finds him deep in the drone zone, with Zimpel's clarinet adding bold strokes of colour.
These four tracks are fundamentally similar, though they all inhabit different moods. "Saturday" is the welcoming warm-up jam as Holden and Zimpel find their way around each other, the textures of synth and clarinet blurring together until Zimpel busts out the discordant countermelodies. The ten-minute "Sunday" is like E2-E4 with clarinet, and shows the two musicians in delicate interplay.
Those tracks are wonderful, and should please fans of Holden's landmark 2013 album The Inheritors, but the real sparks fly when Ziołek joins the fray, with material strong enough to make you wonder why he wasn't given full billing along with the other two. "Tuesday" is steadier, with Ziołek's arpeggios glimmering against the low, growling synths. The surging "Wednesday" is the EP's climax and highlight, recalling the regal heights of Pat Metheny's performances of Steve Reich's Electric Counterpoint. Like those two artists, Long Weekend sees the meeting of minds that come from very different places, finding common ground in the state of trance.
B1 Tuesday feat. Jakub Ziolek
B2 Wednesday feat. Jakub Ziolek