Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Maciej Sikała - ASAF (2004)

Maciej Sikała (saxophone)
Michał Barański (double-bass)
Piotr Jankowski (drums)
Joanna Gajda (piano)

mmcd, 2004






One of the most beautiful mainstream albums ever in Polish jazz is completely unknown not only abroad but also in Poland. Moreover it was recorded spontaneously and almost by accident during jazz workshops Missio Musica organized in August 2003. Like another sax man of note Piotr Baron's albums ("Salve Regina") Maciej Sikała (saxophone), the leader of the band called ASAF, is inspired by his Christian faith and treats music as way of expressing his love to God. Check for example the cover of CD where in shapes of upright and bent reed you can perhaps find the shape of fish.

But regardless of religious message the music on this album is simply overwhelmingly beautiful. Anchored strongly in mainstream jazz it's attractiveness lays not in form but in emotions that are pure, intensive and contagious. They easily spread onto listeners due to massive amount of space, silence and depth as created by artists. Maciej Sikała is accompanied by musicians of the same highest rank he himself belongs to. Michał Barański's line on double-bass is as subtle and refreshing as spring shower in the evening. Piotr Jankowski hustling and shimmering on drums is perfect addition to Joanna Gajda sensitive and elegant support to excellency of rhythm section. Joanna Gajda last year splendid "Heaven Earth Earth Heaven" is clearly influenced by this magnificent recording.

Seldom I drool over clearly mainstream music but this music breaks out of all boundaries and since first notes put me under its spell. Go and check by yourself how powerful its magic really is!!!


Author of text: Maciej Nowotny (http://kochamjazz.blox.pl/html)

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