Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mikołaj Trzaska - Dom Zły (2010)

Mikołaj Trzaska is key figure in Polish jazz nowadays. Born in 1966 he studied in Gdańsk Academy of Art in painting class since 1988. However at the time he became fascinated by John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman music so he started to play on alto saxophone. In 1991 he dropped his studies and co-created band called Miłość (Love) responsible for creating yass movement in Poland which pushed Polish jazz in direction of free and improvised music.
Ever since Miłość times when he collaborated with Lester Bowie he remains very active setting up new project with such significant artists like Oleś brothers, Peter Brotzmann, Joe McPhee or Ken Vandermark. Though he is self-taught and never attended to any musical school he managed to work-out his own style on alto: energetic, assertive, warlike even, though capable of being simultaneously very emotional and moving.
With this specific record, being soundtrack to excellent movie by Wojciech Smarzowski, Trzaska proves that   free jazz can be very valuable addition to moving pictures art. I usually am very skeptical toward soundtracks but in this case music not only provides perfect support for movie but is also fully capable to be listened on its own. Significant part of success of this album goes to exquisite musicians accompanying Trzaska on this CD: Clementine Gasser (5 string cell), Tomasz Szwelnik (fortepian), Clayton Thomas (kontrabas) and Micheal Zerang (drums&percussion).
Speaking shortly, one must say that Trzaska recently has produced incredible streak of excellent records:
1) Duval, Rosen, McPhee, Trzaska "Magic" (2009)
2) Trzaska, Bauer, Brotzmann "Goosetalks" (2010)
proving that he is one of true masters of Polish jazz!

Author of text: Maciej Nowotny (

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