Sunday, June 13, 2010

Arek Skolik Special Trio - Detour Ahead (2010)

I was a little afraid that this record might pass unnoticed since apart from the leader, drummer Arek Skolik, who is recognized on Polish jazz scene, pianist Kuba Płużek and bassist Max Mucha are just 20 and almost débutante (their first record together as part of Jarek Bothur Quartet was issued just few weeks ago). But fortunately the record was immadietely spotted by Jazz Forum which gave it **** stars and by Piotr Iwicki ( who also expressed very positive appraisal. Therefore I gladly join my voice to theirs in order to praise this recording which has several qualities which make it especially attractive to my ears.
I want to focus on Kuba Płużek who shows on this album simply astonishing musicality. It is well known that Poland abounds in top class jazz pianists but I barely can recall one who can swing better than this young lad. In the same time he has this unmistakable bop-ish touch, a little rough, scratchy but very, very energetic. This young man has indeed immense talent which he already showed on above mentioned Lilla Chezquiz album by Jarek Bothur Quartet but this time we can hear him in different program, mainly standards such as for example  Nobody Else But Me (J. Kern), Detour Ahead (H. Ellis, J. Frigo, L. Carter), Five Brothers (G. Mulligan), 9:20 (C. Basie) or September Second (M. Petrucciani). In this diversified program Płużek and his partners never cross the border between what is the deep knowledge of great tradition of jazz and soulless counterfeit of what was once great but today is only the distant reminiscence. Though they play well-known tunes it sounds freshly and shows enough imagination and creativity to spark these standards again with their unique personalities.
All this would be impossible if Płużek's talent was not accompanied by the precision drumming of Arek Sokolik and solid bass-line provided by Max Mucha. The role played by Arek Skoloik, the leader of the band shall be especially appreciated as his decision to coach these young musicians comes in tradition set by Miles Davis (in US) and Tomasz Stańko (in Poland). I am sure he does not regret this decision because this trio may become the significant force in Polish jazz. To sum up let me say that with this record they earned a huge credit of trust with me and I am waiting impatiently for their concerts and new projects. Since the last song on this album titled Coda goes little towards free jazz perhaps it may happen that in future their path shall go in this direction (the hope expressed in Piotr Iwicki's review as well). Whatever it shall in fact be let me hope the trio continues to work together and record again soon. Small sample of music from this album:

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