Immortal Onion, XD [Experience Design]

Peeling off the layers, an obvious metaphorical conceit to begin, presented with a band who call themselves slightly preposterously ''Immortal Onion.'' There is nothing however remotely preposterous about what this Gdańsk trio do. They boast a …

Published: 19 Mar 2020. Updated: 2 months.

Peeling off the layers, an obvious metaphorical conceit to begin, presented with a band who call themselves slightly preposterously ''Immortal Onion.''

There is nothing however remotely preposterous about what this Gdańsk trio do. They boast a scarily accomplished pianist in Tomir Śpiołek who has a Chris Illingworth way about him but as they themselves present themselves the Onions look more to prog, whatever that means in jazz any more. And no it is not a swear word. Bass guitarist Ziemowit Klimek takes a lovely solo on 'Triggers' which is even more GoGo Penguin-like than the opener.

The trio like their building blocks: tumbling piano lines, hyper bass or spotlight solo breaks, drum 'n' bass-like patterns of the highly athletic Wojtek Warmijak and these blocks have been used to construct many small jazz units in recent years.

What they add is a lovely bittersweet tinge you get in Szymanowski sometimes. For this aspect go to 'Omnichannel Journeys Part I' and find that scything bass, pitch bending on top of the very pretty vamp that Śpiołek has set up. 'Significance' begins as a duet between piano and arco acoustic bass this time, the bass, more like cello, like Bach, and this is where the band find their own space most and you won't hear this on any of the bands you may think that Immortal Onion sound like. 'Omnichannel Journeys Part II' the eager unidentical twin of the earlier piece is more stop and start, more prog and has a lot more noisy interplay between all three players. Listen to both tracks and you can see quite quickly how they can move into radically different areas that again announce how special they are.

To sum up this is jazz that doesn't swing in any conventional sense or at all. But that does not matter. Immportal Onion also bypass atonality and the free-improvisational ethic but still harness an improvisational leaning and certainly utilise a syncopated dexterity. Instead they like to sweat the small details. 'Interaction' I'd skip however it's more like a minimalist déjà vu. But wait. The bassist does something different in the bridge and again discombobulates your heard-it-all before feeling. 'Intensity' is the most futuristic and opens in a blaze of mystery and then there is the Kraftwerk-esque 'IA (Information Architecture)' at the end. In a word? Pick your favourite superlative and enter it here, ------, dear reader, ''superb'' is a suggestion. SG

Out now on vinyl, CD and download. Via immortalonion.com.

Tags: 2020 best so far tracks / albumsAlbum reviews

Jazz FM awards nominations

Who's nominated for 2020? Public voting is open now at www.jazzfmawards.com and will close on Wednesday 15 April. BREAKTHROUGH ACT OF THE YEAR Rosie Turton Xhosa Cole Yelfris Valdés THE DIGITAL AWARD Chiminyo Jacob Collier Jazz re:freshed THE …

Published: 18 Mar 2020. Updated: 2 months.

Next post

Who's nominated for 2020?

Public voting is open now at www.jazzfmawards.com and will close on Wednesday 15 April.

BREAKTHROUGH ACT OF THE YEAR

Rosie Turton

Xhosa Cole

Yelfris Valdés

THE DIGITAL AWARD

Chiminyo

Jacob Collier

Jazz re:freshed

THE INNOVATION AWARD

Jazz re:freshed

Moses Boyd

Sarathy Korwar

INSTRUMENTALIST OF THE YEAR

Binker Golding

Mark Kavuma

Shirley Tetteh

INTERNATIONAL JAZZ ACT OF THE YEAR

Branford Marsalis

Charles Lloyd

Kris Davis

SOUL ACT OF THE YEAR

Anderson .Paak

Celeste

Philip Bailey

BLUES ACT OF THE YEAR

Keb’ Mo’

Gary Clark Jr.

Jon Cleary

VOCALIST OF THE YEAR

Alice Zawadzki

Georgia Cécile

Judi Jackson

PUBLIC VOTE

PRS FOR MUSIC UK JAZZ ACT OF THE YEAR

Joe Armon-Jones

SEED Ensemble

Yazz Ahmed

ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Ashley Henry – Beautiful Vinyl Hunter

Binker Golding – Abstractions of Reality Past and Incredible Feathers

Branford Marsalis Quartet – The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul

Jazzmeia Horn – Love and Liberation

SEED Ensemble – Drift Glass

Yazz Ahmed – Polyhymnia

VENUE OF THE YEAR

Band on the Wall, Manchester

Church of Sound

Love Supreme Festival

Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club

The Verdict, Brighton

Vortex, Dalston

SPECIAL AWARDS

Impact Award TBA Gold Award TBA PPL Lifetime Achievement Award TBA