Thursday, October 7, 2010

Soundcheck - III Druglum (2010)

This year I planned holidays in such a way as to be able to reconcile them with my passion for jazz. Therefore we took for Croatia, splendid place which I can only wholeheartedly recommend, but instead of flying there by plane we traveled by car. As a result I have plenty of time to listen to many great jazz recordings of this year while driving from North to South through this beautiful continent of Europe.
Among the best recordings I listened to this almost 48 hours long session (with stopovers in Wien and Venice) is the newest, third in row, CD Druglum by Polish quartet named Soundcheck. Musicians' names are following: Maciej Kocin Kociński (saxophones), Krzysztof Dys (piano), Andrzej Święs (bass) and Krzysztof Szmańda (drums and percussion). They started to play together in 2002 and since then have scooped up numerous prizes in international and Polish jazz contests including prestigious Grand Prix of Jazz Nad Odrą festival in 2005. Plus they've recorded three excellent CDs, all very ambitious, moody, complex and brooding. Truly excellent music executed with utmost attention to details.
I am especially astonished by Maciej Kociński play on alto saxophone. Himself he acknowledges  influences from Micheal Brecker and Kenny Garret. But I myself also hear even closer affinities to Jimmy Giuffre (in the past) and David Binney (now), very unique voices in modern jazz, highly individual, avant garde, yet very, very musical. There is also some resemblence in Kocin style and the style presented by one of the best saxes in Poland at the moment Adam Pierończyk on his last CD titled El Buscador. One can only dream that they meet one day to record something together, it would be like meeting of basic nature elements, fire and water, wind and earth. For the time being we can hear them in two seperate recodings, both strong contenders for the title of best Polish jazz recording this year.
I would also like to notice an excellent play on bass by Andrzej Święs whose sound is round, deep and thoughtful. No worse is  timely accompaniment by Krzysztof Dys' piano. Last but not least we shall also sight that Krzysztof Szmańda playing on drums and percussion appeared on second breathtaking recording this year together with excellent Kattorna which makes him the most obvious runner for the best Polish jazz drummer of 2010 (at least in my opinion).

Author of text: Maciej Nowotny (

Please listen to the piece of fantastic music cooked for us by this quartet:

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