Brussels, Belgium-born Casimir Liberski began as a child prodigy, a gifted pianist who gained notice in the European and international jazz circles at the age of 13. Liberski’s personal style is informed from all areas and eras of jazz, blues and funk and his growing up in the ‘90s had Nintendo games, grunge, alternative rock, hip hop and TV cartoons playing into what has now become an intoxicating mix. Liberski has composed music for films and TV and was nominated best screen composer at Ghent’s film festival for “Tokyo Fiancée,” directed by his father. Cosmic Liberty is his fifth CD as a leader, his first for Ropeadope, and was recorded in Brooklyn with drummer Matt Carstka and electric bassist Louis De Mieulle, with whom he has collaborated with on other projects. LIberski plays piano, various electronic keyboards and synths, melding them into his own signature sound.
One can hear the influence of his work on film and TV scores in the music and it’s easy to envision many of these tracks suitable for scores. In fact, researching Liberski will turn up “stage and screen” before “jazz and rock.” While his two previous releases on his own Dalang! Label, Atomic Rabbit and The Caveless Wolf were in a jazz-rock mode, this one stays closer to jazz and jazz fusion. For example in the funky “Azuwi” one can hear Liberski quoting Chick Corea and Joe Zawinul. There are ten compositions, extending the listening to 75 minutes, with one track, “Odyessia,” beginning as a solo acoustic piano composition, elegant, dissonant and percussive before the rhythm section checks in, transforming it to a highly rhythmic piece, marked with solo interludes, checking in at over 15 minutes. Two that are available as YouTube videos are the title track and “Violente Absinthe,” both fusion with the former propelled mostly by Fender Rhodes and the latter by synths.
In 2016 LIberski was invited to perform along with visual artist Jean-Luc Moerman in the prestigious Queen Elisabeth’s Music Chapel in Belgium for their first non-classical performance ever. That same year Liberski was the third prize winner at the Marmigiani Montreux Solo Piano Competition and was mentored by Marcus Miller, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Trilok Gurtu and Yaron Herman at the Montreux Jazz Academy in Lausanne.
Liberski can paint light and dark colors with equal facility. Listen to the dark tones that beckon in “Stasis” for example. That’s the real appeal of this talented musician, taking you on amazingly unpredictable journeys, some seemingly to outer space, others practically trance-inducing, with his almost limitless sound palette.