Thursday, February 17, 2011

Maciej Fortuna Quartet - Lost Keys (2010) by Maciej Nowotny

I would surely overlooked this debut CD if my friend Tomek Łuczak did not turn my attention to this album. Lost among so many splendid mainstream debuts of 2010 (great year for Polish jazz!), it features trumpeter who may become key player on Polish jazz scene in following years. His style may be described as virtuosic, melodious and spontaneous. I've read that this album was recorded on spot during one recording session without many rehearsals and it becomes evident when you start to listen to it. It provides us with massive energy, joy of life and great optimism. What is even more important this youthful attitude is accompanied by the highest level of musicianship and to no surprise because if we look into the names of sidemen we will find there top quality artists indeed.

The man whose play most deserves praise on this recording is Przemysław Raminiak. We know him well from excellent RGG trio which is one of the best cool jazz bands in Poland. But here apart from his usual sensitivity and thoughtfulness he proves being equally et ease with both bop and swing elements of jazz. He finds compassionate support in great rhythm section created by Andrzej Święs who may challenge as far quality of play on double bass is concerned any other mainstream player in Poland and by Frank Parker whose style blending not only jazz but also funk, r&b and pop influences adds a very special flavour to this music.

How does Maciej Fortuna's trumpet present itself on this very interesting background? The best moments are when he is himself but it is obvious that with such young player he is still paying hommage to his influences: be it Miles Davis whose style he sometimes imitates or super-star of smooth jazz Chris Botti whose mellowness and sweet tone is often present on this album or Nils Peter Molvaer whose openness combined with accessibility appeals to me most. And this third Scandinavian path seems to me especially promising as far as this young virtuoso is concerned. As Molvaer's Fortuna's trumpet feels best in the territory of avantgarde but communicative enough to be able to appeal to jazz fans interested not exclusively in free jazz and improvised music. Fare well Maciej on this or any other path you decide to take in years to come...

Finally, please check music samples: first, a title track from above described album and second,  a tune from concert with Norwegian band called Urban Tunnels WAMP indeed!!!  (very fresh taking place just 4th February this year).      

Author of text: Maciej Nowotny
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