Thursday, July 7, 2011

Mazzoll & Arhythmic Perfection - A (Gowi Records, 1995)

Mazzoll & Arythmic Perfection

Jerzy Mazzoll (clarinet, bass clarinet, panpipe, vocal; conductor)
Janusz Zdunek (trumpet)
Sławomir Janicki (double bass)
Jacek Majewski (percussion)
Tomasz Gwinciński (drums)

Gowi Records, 1995

Now the majority of jazz musicians are receiving formal education in schools and academies. They are usually very good artisans but few of them will become artists. In fact formal education may as much help as be an obstacle on a way to artistry. The life is abundant in examples justifying such hypothesis: let's take  famous alto saxophonist Charlie Parker. In field of jazz his significance was similar to that of Copernicus in the field of astronomy (with all due proportions in importance between entertainment and science). He was able to make almost single-handedly revolution in jazz improvisation though he was unable to use musical notation! Fortunately he got around himself somebody like Dizzy Gillespie whose literacy allowed preservation of some of his most astonishing solos...

Going back to subject: weight of musical education eventually became a burden for Polish jazzmen when scene was dominated by virtuoso players like Piotr Wojtasik, Krzysztof Popek, Włodek Pawlik, Andrzej Jagodziński, Bogdan Hołownia, Robert Majewski and many others. Fortunately there were musicians, some of them amateur or self-taught like Mikołaj Trzaska, who injected some chaos and spontaneity into this conservative and rigid structure, and in this way yass was created in Poland, somewhere around mid-90ties.

Of all this rejuvenating (though short lived) movement this record may very well be the most interesting or containing music craziest and least predictable. That's probably why I love it so much irrespective years that passed and other great free jazz recordings that were created in Polish jazz since then. It brings spontaneity and gaiety rarely found in our over-Chopin-ated, sad and mournful musical culture. It traces it roots back to mid-size jazz combos of such freaks as Charles Mingus who is one of forefathers of what is now called "collective improvisation".

Before I invite you to listen to sample of music from this exceptional album let me add few words about Jerzy Mazzoll, clarnetist and spiritus movens behind this project. Still young, born in 1968, he played significant role in yass movement in 90ties but remained active after its expiry playing with such musicians as Tomasz Stańko, Peter Brotzmann, Tony Oxley or Peter Kowald. But it may justly be said that many people (include myself) expect his great comeback to Polish avantjazz scene as one of its protagonists and leaders. Birds are singing that his new album is underway that hopefully will fulfill such expectations...

Author of text: Maciej Nowotny (

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