Welcome to Feature Fridays! Each week, AU music library staff highlights a CD or artist from our collection. This week, Student Assistant Ryan Jacobs reviews Flashback by Tubis Trio.
Flashback (2018) is the third studio album from Tubis Trio, a three-piece jazz band from Poland comprised of pianist Maciej Tubis, bassist Paweł Puszczało, and drummer Przemek Pacan. Tubis is the group’s primary composer, and is influenced by Swedish jazz pianist Esbjorn Svensson and his trio. Defying clear genre classification, their music remains accessible even to those who aren’t typically fans of jazz.
“The term jazz is just a label, and it imposes limits,” explains Maciej Tubis. “We create tunes with melodious themes but unforeseeable forms. Classical polyphonies transform into rock ostinatos. We draw inspiration from various musical styles and various periods, sometimes we reach for pop songs, but we rehash them using our best artistic skills.”
This album caught my eye with its pareidolic cover art when trawling through the list of new NAXOS jazz additions, and immediately caught my ear as well. The first track, “Rekindled”, wasted no time in grabbing my attention with its joyfully infectious and upbeat groove, starting off so strong that I had no choice but to listen to the entire album. The push and pull between high and low energy is executed well, and the compositions are nicely balanced so that the band plays as a cohesive unit.
My favorite tracks on the album are the aforementioned leading tune “Rekindled”, the subdued yet emotionally-rich “Esteem”, the proggy-yet-poppy “Roadrunner”, and the slow-building title track “Flashback.” The album paints an image of a mature and close-knit trio of talented musicians with a clear compositional vision. I am very happy to have stumbled across this record, look forward to exploring more of their music in the future, and hope that you have been inspired to do so as well.
Flashback is available from Naxos Jazz with your AU login.