Thursday, February 6, 2020

The Beat Freaks: Stay Calm

The Beat Freaks 
Stay Calm (TBF, 2019)

Michał Starkiewicz (guitar)
Tomasz Licak (tenor sax)
Paweł Grzesiuk (doublebass)
Radek Wośko (drums)

Serious. Not serious. Fun. Invigorating. Funky. Abstract.
All of the above can describe the thoughts that come to mind while listening to the sophomore effort from The Beat Freaks, Stay Calm. This is a journey that moves with distinct turns; leading you down some very intriguing pathways over the course of an hour.

"Work at Heights" and "Breakwater" capture the fun and adventure of Stay Calm. With Starkiewicz chords shifting from breakneck to gentle barreling up against Licak's bold structures on the sax; The Beat Freaks show they can move effortlessly in two playgrounds of jazz and rock.

That movement also shows itself on "Memories of an old Town." My thoughts tended to drift into early King Crimson territory with Beat Freaks wonderful combination of rock and jazz melodies tightly intertwined but still presenting a fresh new outlook. Jazz rhythms return on "Night Bus" and "Beardless Spy" with Grzesiuk and Wosko adding a strong punch that has you tapping away on your feet for what felt like forever but is only just over four minutes.

Stay Calm is a surprising work from four outstanding musicians that separately are amazing but in this somewhat supergroup bring a variety of influences that shine perfectly across the thirteen glorious tracks. Big praise--yes. Fun. Serious. Abstract. Yes to all of the above but in the end The Beat Freaks Stay Calm is an exciting and adventurous outing that you need experience for yourself.

P.S. I spent a good amount of time walking in a park listening to Stay Calm on my new Sivga 004 Open Back Headphones. Awesomely clean sound for jazz.