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Maciej Obara Quartet

Frozen Silence

Release Date: September 8, 2023

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1 Dry Mountain  
2 Black Cauldron  
3 Frozen Silence  
4 High Stone  
5 Rainbow Leaves  
6 Twilight  
7 Waves Of Glyma  
8 Flying Pixies  
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Frozen Silence is the third ECM release from alto saxophonist Maciej Obara’s Polish-Norwegian quartet, bringing the story forward from Unloved and Three Crowns, recordings which confirmed the ensemble’s standing as one of the most strikingly original European bands of the present moment. The quartet’s creative sense of musical interplay is again to the forefront of this newest album, recorded in Oslo in the summer of 2022, which may be their strongest statement to date. Obara’s new music optimally highlights his intuitive musical relationship with Dominik Wania, while Ole Morten Vågan and Gard Nilssen continually transcend rhythm section roles to interact persuasively with the saxophonist and the pianist.

Alert interactivity is the hallmark of the group’s approach. The new repertoire, however, was shaped by Maciej in isolation. When pandemic lockdowns shut the door on the Polish jazz scene and ruled out international touring, he left Warsaw and headed for the hills and forests. The compositions heard here are reveries of the solitary walker: direct responses to nature, in particular the starkly dramatic landscapes of the Karkonosze region in south-west Poland, where his family roots are. Song titles single out some special locations – “Black Cauldron” (in Polish, Czarny kociol jagniatkowski), “High Stone”  (Wysoki kamien), and “Dry Mountain” (Sucha Góra). 

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