Tuesday, January 17, 2006


"Like a Dream" from bassist Darek Oleszkiewicz (who usually goes by Oles), Cryptogramophone, begins with his classically influenced composition "November," a melodic bass and piano duet and a good way for Oles to introduce himself musically. He reminds me of the late Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen or Richard Davis, and that's a big compliment.

It's funny, I started listening without looking at who the other players are and of the pianist I thought, "That guy does an awfully good Brad Mehldau." That's because it is Brad Mehldau. He and Oles duet the first five songs, including one fine version of the only non-Oles composition, "You Don't Know What Love Is," on which Mehldau, as on "Time Cafe," shows why he's considered the most advanced jazz pianist going by a lot of people. (I'd like to get him, Vijay Iyer and Jean-Michael Pilc in a cutting contest.)

Oles plays with his regular quartet on two songs (saxophonist Chuck Manning and guitarist Larry Koonse are excellent) and in a trio on three others, with reeds legend Bennie Maupin joining in on "Conclusion, Part Two." Oles is good, as a bassist and a composer. Buy this to hear him and his, and especially to hear Mehldau in a complimentary setting.

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