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Owl, The feat. Pablo Held: Improcode (Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!))

The Polish trio OWL of Marcin Halat on violin, Maciej Garbowski on double bass, and Krzysztof Gradziuk on drums invited German pianist Pablo Held for a concert at Loft in Cologne, 2019, to perform three lyrical and dynamic compositions from violinist Halat, alongside a 6-part "IMPRO" collective improvisation, balancing free and lyrical approches to superb modern jazz.

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product information:

UPC: 5905279364790

Label: Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!)
Catalog ID: FSR 21 | 2020
Squidco Product Code: 29568

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2020
Country: Poland
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded at Loft, in Cologne, Germany, on February 5th and 6th, 2019, by Stefan Deistler.


Marcin Halat-violin

Maciej Garbowski-double bass

Krzysztof Gradziuk-drums

Pablo Held-piano

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Artist Biographies:

"Marcin Hałat: violin

He graduated from the Academy of Music in Cracow in the violin class of Professor Robert Kabara and from Academy of Music in Katowice at the Department of Jazz and Contemporary Music in Katowice.

He is a laureate of the International Violin Competition in Katowice. He has received the Scholarship of the Minister of Culture and Art and the Schoolarship Silesian Voivodeship. Marcin Hałat is a musician with a broad spectrum of interests. It comes in a variety of formations such as jazz trio, classical chamber ensembles and symphony orchestra.

In 2003 he began his collaboration with the orchestra of the capital city of Cracow, Sinfonietta Cracovia, with whom he had the opportunity to play under the baton of such conductors as, Lorin Maazel, and John Axelrod, played at major international festivals such as Colmar in France, Schleswig-Holstein in Germany, White Nights in Russia, Carrinthischer Sommer in Austria, Europamusicale in Germany, Murten Classics in Switzerland, Le Dieci Giornati in Brescia, Italy, in Guide Polignac Festival in France and many others. Over the many years of cooperation with the Sinfonietta he has participated in many recordings for the prestigious european labels and took part in concerts of insignificant artistic value.Parallel operated in the field of jazz and improvised music, collaborating with jazz pianist Adam Makowicz or leading their own teams. In 2011 he was invited to work with the "Atom String Quartet," the first jazz string quartet in Poland, which won two awards of the Polish phonographic industry Fryderyk in the category "Jazz Phonographic Debut of the Year" and "Album of the Year-Jazz music." At the same time he operated chamber, contributing to duets, trios and quartets, whose idea was to present the nineteenth and twentieth-century chamber works.

In Poland Marcin Hałat performed as a soloist, chamber musician and member of the symphony orchestra at such festivals as the Warsaw Autumn Music Festival in Łańcut, Karol Szymanowski Festival in Zakopane, Easter Festival of Ludwig van Beethoven, Sacred Profane, Circles Arts Festival in Cieszyn, Jewish Culture Festival in Cracow.

In 2006 he started working at the Institute of Music of the University of Silesia in Cieszyn, as academic and educational .

The whole area of ​​his previous experience in the field of violin has been summed up and crowned in receiving in 2013 a doctoral degree in musical arts, the discipline of art - instrumental."

-Sounds and Notes (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Maciej Garbowski: "Graduated from the Jazz Institute (2004) and the Classical Faculty (2005) on the Academy of Music in Katowice In 2002-2005 a member of the Aukso Chamber Orchestra conducted by Marek Moś. Co-former of the piano trio RGG very well stated in Poland and Europe. Since 2007 teacher in a Jazz Institute on the Academy of Music in Katowice. A member of a Tomasz Stańko's project - New Balladyna Quartet.

The initiator of the project Lutosławski Collective. Garbowski is foremost jazz and classical bassist, composer, and the forerunner of the idea of international collaboration of artists from different musical cultures under the banner of IMP (International Musical Project). Participant of European art initiatives such as the Jazz Plays Europe or Take Five Europe.

Maciej Garbowski is a winner of numerous awards, such as: I Prize on the Jazz Blizzard Festival 2003 and 2007, II Prize and the Audience Prize on XXVII Internacionale Festival de Jazz w Getxo (Spain) in 2003, Key to the Carreer Award on Pomerania Jazz Festival 2003, Jazz Album of the Year - Rzeczpospolita & Jazz Radio (RGG -Unfinished Story), "Melomani 2008" Award for the best jazz album (RGG - Unfinished Story).

His solo debut album "Elements" was nominated to the most important Polish musical award Fryderyki 2013. Garbowski has reached the number of 25 released CD albums yet.

Cooperation: RGG, Maciej Obara Trio, Aukso Chamber Orchestra, Esus, Tomasz Stańko, Terje Rypdal, Thomas Gustafsson, Jon Fält, Antoine Roney, Jan "Ptaszyn" Wróblewski, Anders Jormin."

-Culture.PL (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Krzysztof Gradziuk: "A jazz drummer and teacher. A graduate of the Institute of Jazz at the Academy of Music in Katowice. In 2003 he was awarded a one-term scholarship from the Hohschule für Musik und Theater in Leipzig (Germany) and in 2004 he took part in the Summer Jazz Workshop in Louisville (USA) in the class of John Riley and Steve Davis. In 2004 he was granted the scholarship of the Minister of Culture and Arts. Since 2001 he has been a member of the RGG piano trio, one of the major jazz ensembles in the country.

Other groups he is permanently involved with include: Maciej Obara Quartet, Anna Gadt Quartet, Maciej Fortuna Trio, Daniel Popiałkiewicz Quartet and Leszek Kułakowski Trio. He is currently teaching in the percussion class at the Institute of Jazz at the Academy of Music in Katowice, at the Faculty of Jazz at the Fryderyk Chopin State Music Schools (2nd Degree) in Warsaw as well as at the Post-secondary Henryk Majewski Jazz Study in Warsaw."

-Culture.PL (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.

Pablo Held: piano "Born 1986 in Hagen, Germany. My father pianist and my mother piano technician. Herbie Hancock's music was in the background while playing Lego, John Scofield's music in the car on holidays. For my third birthday my uncle gave me my first drum set. Built by himself. Music was always there and always around me.

"Play something!" - On the company party of my grandfather I drummed in front of an audience for the first time. Aged four. To Stevie Wonder. Without thinking, without hesitation, just like a kid. Possibly the best way to make music? At least that's the way try I approach it even today.

As a 10-year old my enthusiasm for drum lessons waned. Instead I sat down at the piano more and more often. My father took note and gave me a present: My first piano lesson with a colleague of his.

Studying music - In Hagen the last year at school was approaching. But I had just one thing in mind: Studying jazz piano in Cologne. Passing the audition 2005 was the ticket to a new world.

Cologne was magical. The scene! Seeing one, two concerts each night. Studying during the day, playing sessions and listening to music with friends. And lessons with two of my biggest heroes: John Taylor and Hubert Nuss. The best teachers I could imagine. New worlds every lesson.

Then the first jam with Robert Landfermann (bass) and Jonas Burgwinkel (drums). "You're my trio now", I supposedly said afterwards. I don't remember that, just the feeling. Today Robert and Jonas are two of my most important musical companions and closest friends.

My music - Since 2006 the trio is my musical home. I'm grateful for having experienced so much together over the years: Countless tours, nine albums on Pirouet Records, two albums on Edition Records and special collaborations with guests such as John Scofield, Ralph Towner, Chris Potter, Jim Beard, Jorge Rossy, Dave Liebman or Nelson Veras.

The interplay with Robert & Jonas feels so close and familiar, but at the same time as exciting as during our first jam. Our music develops in the moment, just like a conversation among friends.

Of course, I am happy to reach a wider audience and to have such a positive response. Awards such as the WDR Jazz Award, the SWR Jazz Award, or promotion by NICA Artist Development help me continue my journey. And when my hero John Scofield calls us "one of the best bands in today's music" or Ralph

Towner talks of "an important example of the evolution of the jazz piano trio", then these are moments I can't really comprehend, but which fill me with deep gratitude.

Alongside my trio I play in a number of other bands. As sideman one can hear me on over 30 albums. In addition, memorable musical encounters took place with Billy Hart, Nasheet Waits, Mark Feldman, Anders Jormin, Tom Harrell, Mike Gibbs or Chris Speed. All of these are important influences and learning opportunities which in turn enrich my own projects.

Music & people - On worldwide tours I got a chance to meet fantastic people and musicians. Often this is a stepping stone: A conversation turns into a regular exchange, a concert turns into an album collaboration. The music enables us to learn from each other, to network and to explore new things together.

In my interview series "Pablo Held Investigates" I talk with my musical idols and companions since 2018: Wayne Shorter, Joey Baron, Dave Holland, Bill Stewart, Bill Frisell, John Scofield, Norma Winstone, Larry Goldings or Dave Longstreth spoke with me about their music and their creative process. One of my most important learning experiences to date. There to watch on YouTube, there to listen to on all podcast platforms, and sometimes there to read in JazzThing magazine.

Since 2017 I curate the concert series "Pablo Held Meets" in the LOFT in Cologne. I invite musicians who thrill me. International greats such as Norma Winstone, Ben Monder, Gary Husband, Jeff Ballard meet companions and friends such as Leif Berger, Kathrin Pechlof, Jason Seizer or Shannon Barnett. Each time a new line-up and a new repertoire.

As a founding member of the Cologne jazz collective KLAENG I organize festivals, concert series and workshops since 2009. In KLAENGrecords we also run our own label. This work is very rewarding for us all and also helps us understand the other side of the music business. Always with the aim of giving the audience a concert experience that we would like to experience ourselves.

A similarly rewarding change is teaching: 2011 to 2020 at the IFM Osnabrück, since early 2020 as assistant professor at the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz, plus workshops all over the world. My ideal throughout: joint investigation at eye level. Just as I could experience it with my own teachers."

-Pablo Hed Website (

Have a better biography or biography source? Please Contact Us so that we can update this biography.
track listing:

1. The Land 5:26

2. Impro I 5:58

3. Impro II 6:13

4. Improcode 5:03

5. Impro III 7:44

6. Impro IV 5:14

7. Impro V 4:28

8. Impro VI 8:37

9. Lunatic 4:01
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"The second album of the violin, bass, drums trio The OWL co on lead by one of the most interesting Polish violin player Marcin Halat. This time trio invited German pianist and composer Pablo Held to the LOFT Koln Records and began their adventurous improvised trip." on Fundacja Sluchaj

"[...] In the second peak of the corona virus pandemic, The Owl comes with the second album. This time trio invited German pianist and composer Pablo Held to the LOFT Kšln Records, and "began their adventurous improvised trip." All composition are by Marcin Halat, excluding "Impro I-VI" by Halat, Garbowski, Gradziuk, and Held. The album confirms what I said in the liner notes to "On the Way": Marcin Halat is a discovery, revelation and a master iof contemporary improvised violin. The starts with "The Land" a slow, abstractly melodic ballad with a touch of sadness, in which the new and very creative role of Pablo Held is defined. For me the best of the record are collective improvisations, starting with "Impro I". Pablo is here reminding me of Paul Bley, while Marcin is closer here to Mark Feldman's approach. The section of my beloved Maciej Garbowski and Krzysztof Gradziuk is miraculous. "Impto II" represent the same outstanding artistic level, yet is very different: more abstract, more quiet, more reflexive.

The title track "Improcode" returns to the more traditional ballad form, but has not much to do with ECM sound; it is much closer to the free improvised music. The following "Impro III" is perhaps my favorite: with amazing synergy, plenty of emotions and expression. "Impro V" and "Impro VI" are similarly attractive and emotive. Over 8 minutes long "Impro VI" is especially interesting: it is a magisterial example of this kind of approach to music. Finally, the short, but fully convincing "Lunatic", a "traditional" track with the opening piano solo, followed by piano-violin improvisation -- reminding me of Frank Zappa & Jean on Luc Ponty encounters." on Maciej Lewenstein

Related Categories of Interest:

Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Trio Recordings
Collective Free Improvsation
Melodic and Lyrical Jazz

Search for other titles on the label:
Listen! Foundation (Fundacja Sluchaj!).

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