Friday, March 11, 2011

RGG Trio - Scandinavia (2003) by Maciej Nowotny

Przemysław Raminiak (piano)
Maciej Garbowski (doublebass)
Krzystof Gradziuk (drums)

Polskie Radio Katowice, 2003







One of the records for which I am most impatiently waiting this year is new CD of RGG trio titled "One". You can already catch a glimpse of what it will be like because I've posted here couple of tunes from this upcoming album. So in meantime I decided to write about their debut album issued back in 2003 (BTW I already wrote about their last album "True Story").

Piotr Iwicki in his Jazz Gazeta (source) writes that the history of this band dates to year 2001 when Raminiak and Gradziuk who studied together looked for bass player to play with them during their bachelor's exam. Garbowski, already second year full time student, decided to help them and so happened that they not only passed successfully exams and became full time students but also found excellent partner for their project who since then proved to be one of the most significant in Polish jazz.

Another crucial moment in their career took place in 2002 during 5th edition of Bielska Zadymka Jazzowa festival where they started in young talents competition. One of jurors in this contest, Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski, recalls: "it was something incredible, I felt like stunned, whole jury's discussion lasted no more than 15 seconds". The common opinion was that they simply outclassed all other young participants and presented fully matured music being miles away from proposals of their equally young colleagues. The reward for winning in the contest was the grant for recording an album. The recording session followed accordingly and in 2003 their first CD was issued immadietely winning hearts of many jazz lovers in Poland. It is then quite funny that all this story could never happen since they entered this competion from reserve list after one of its participants had resigned!!! 

As for quality of their play I can only cite words of Tomasz Stańko spoken once with respect to musicians of another Polish great band that is Marcin Wasilewski Trio: "when I met them they were very young, two of them were 18 years old and Michał (Miśkiewicz) just 16!!! But I never have doubts about them, they simple played perfectly from the very beginning". The same can be said about Raminiak, Garbowski and Gradziuk because this debut recording contains as excellent music as any of subsequent their subsequent albums.

In terms of musicial influence we can simply say that this is cool jazz and that Bill Evans or Keith Jarrett would probably be very happy if they could see how the seeds sowed by them have beautifuly grown in some distant and cold European country. Strong Scandanavian influence (evidenced by title of one of compositions and of the album itself) is obviously equally important to RGG with figures like Bobo Stenson, Esbjorn Svensson or Tord Gustavsen coming to mind. The tune "Three For Brad" shows that inspiration coming from Brad Mehldau music is also present here and significant. Finally composition "In Him We Trust" dedicated to Krzysztof Komeda is clear sign that his cool, intelectual yet infinitely emotional way of treating jazz was important for musicians as well.

Speaking shortly, an excellent CD fully deserving to be reahearsed many times over, regardless time that has passed since its recording...

Check this link for fantastic tune from this album titled "A Moment Worth A While".

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

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