When the Wacław Zimpel Quartet begins to play, it’s as if someone turned on a faucet and kept it at its lowest setting. The sound and the pressure of the music almost doesn’t register. And because of this, it takes a little longer for the listener to process the combinations of sounds they are hearing. There is nothing odd about the group’s setup, with Zimpel himself on clarinet, Krzysztof Dys on piano, Christian Ramond on bass and Klaus Kugel on drums.
But the nature of the compositions are so indefinite and the musicians’ interaction with one another so peculiarly fragile that you may have to give the album Stone Fog numerous spins before determining if you could ever be on the same page as it, let alone grow to like it at all. Free jazz and avant-garde are one thing, but this music feels like moss growing on a different set of roots, ones that everyone forgot to inspect. File under: jazz that almost doesn’t happen. Recommended for all you romantics out there who can’t stop thinking about dark matter.