Friday, July 16, 2010

Kattorna - Straying To The Moon (2010)
























This is a very interesting project indeed that is executed with meticulous attention to even smallest details. Let's start with visual side of the album that is simply state-of-art. There is a night, a moon, calm deep water and a man, perhaps somnabulic, which is drawn towards this moon, unaware of depth of water and its danger (no less interesting are other images inside CD envelope). But this picture could only be made by someone who knows a lot about Komeda who himself was somnabulic, who was fascinated and terrified by night, by a state of sleep, all these things were well reflected in his life and music.
The Polish-Danish quintet consists of Dawid Główczewski (alto&soprano saxophone), Grzegorz Rogala (trombone), Łukasz Pawlik (piano), Max Nauta Simonsen (bass) and Krzysztof Szmąńda (drums). All this guys are very young and this is their debut recording but nonetheless it is of top quality. It is enough to say that they started top play together 5 years ago, are all educated in excellent Music Academies and up to this point took part in many jazz contests in Poland and abroad, always recognized, often awarded significant prizes like Łukasz Pawlik at Jazz Nad Odrą Festival. 
But the music is of course the most important and fortunately it is fulfilling every promise I can imagine. It starts with excellent composition Drop It by Danish bassist whose play on this CD is simply overwhelming. This tune is vibrating with massive inner energy and is best possible beginning to this  awesome album. Second comes the only Komeda composed piece on this CD which is of course Kattorna  which gave a name to the band. Hearing so many versions of it I must say that is one is truly groundbreaking, filled with dramatic feeling of desolation and yet exploding with cool energy like underwater volcano. Masterpiece brilliantly executed!
Then come 6 compositions by Łukasz Pawlik: Panta Rhei, Twilight which are typical, mellow, mainstream jazz, fortunately Night Safari comes, strong tune, with excellent interplay between Główczeski alto and aggressive drums of Szmańda. When it comes to Rogala with his trombone we feel creeps on our backs exactly as if during safari we unexpectedly would spot a lion entering from a nearby bushes. Pawlik's piano follows lightly-footed as escape full of grace from lion's den. Throughout this piece Nauta Simonsen bass beats as if heart would beat during some crazy night safari. Marvelous tune.
Next we have Introduction To Haunted House and Haunted House. These tunes are very Komeda-like: down-tempo, cool, brooding, hauntingly beautiful as were famous Ballad For Bernt, Crazy Girl or Sleep Safe And Warm by Krzysztof Komeda.  The Disc ends with Pawlik's tune Straying To The Moon which again has typical for Komeda bluesy, yet warm, character. Again Główczewski alto makes small miracles one note after another announcing to us arriving on the scene one of the most talented saxophonist in recent years. 
Well, it is time to sum up everything which I can do in just is one sentence: if you like mainstream jazz this debut is simply close to masterpiece!

Author: Maciej Nowotny (http://kochamjazz.blox.pl/html)




More music on http://www.myspace.com/kattorna.

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