Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Leszek Możdżer - Chopin (1994)

I decided to go back to this CD for two reasons: first 2010 is internationally declared as Chopin year, second that new recording of Leszek Możdżer was issued recently, again piano solo and I wanted to recall Możdżer first solo effort which revealed to be turning point in his career.
The carreer that developed fantastically because this prodigously talented pianist (born in 1971 in Gdańsk) started to play with the band called Miłość in 1991, the most innovative collective in Polish jazz those days, part of yass movement in Poland which revolutionized Polish jazz (more).  
Because yass  presented mostly avantgarde, free, difficult music it made Możdżer well-known and appreciated among rather narrow circles of jazz connoisseurs but with wider audience he became to be recognized for the first time only with this record.
Back in 1994 when I bought it I was totally immersed in classical music and because of that this recording puzzled me, irritated and yet fascinated. It happened so because it was Chopin I did not know: the music was angular, broken, tempos faster, played louder but still Chopin it was melodic, moody and romantic! As most Polish music lovers I knew so many great Chopin interpretations by Zimmerman, Argerich, Pollini or Pogorelich but that was something entirely different: blasphemy - yes, wortlhless - definitely no! Only slowly I became more and more persuaded to this Możdzer's Chopin, especially as I started to understand jazz better, and recognized how masterfully Możdżer transformed Chopin through whole range of jazz stylistics: rag time, swing, bop and free jazz.
The CD is like basket full of gems so let me choose for you the smallest but nonetheless charming Chopin's Etiuda Ges Op. 25 No 9 played in rag time style. Marvellous and so so witty!

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