Monday, June 27, 2011

Włodek Pawlik - We Are From Here (The Kielce Philharmonic Orchestra, 2010)

Włodek Pawlik is good example of how third-stream jazz is popular in Poland. There are countless recordings exploring this so many times plowed field with particular emphasis on Chopin compositions, regarded as hero of national culture and all that blah blah. I often wonder where this fascination with classical music comes from: my supposition is that it is related to the fact that most of jazz musicians in Poland undergo classical education. Good side of that is that technical level of Polish instrumentalists is really high, the weak side is that they are kind of limited in their imagination, they lack bravery, open-mindedness, spirit-of-rebel to cast behind themselves all that they so industriously learned during classical education.

This record of Włodek Pawlik is an example of such attitude: no one can deny his virtuosity in playing the piano and his compositional talent as displayed on this album. If he stucked to jazz as he more or less did on first track titled "Puls 11/8 na fortepian, flet, orkiestrę smyczkową i sekcję rytmiczną", it would be magnificent CD. This is great composition, very well played where both jazz and symphonic elements are perfectly balanced. 

But after this gem tune lasting 13:59 comes kind of suite titled "We Are Fro Here" lasting more than half an hour which is simply yet another typical post-romantic peace of music that unfortunately sounds so all-too-well-known, so easy-to-predict-what-will-be-next that I only with great difficulty forced myself to listen to this record more than once for sake of this review. Part of the problem lies as well in rather suppressed and lacking-breath sound of The Kielce Philharmonic Orchestra. Or is it poor level of recording? Or both?

Check this film to feel general mood of the music although material comes from different recording "Tykocin Suite" featuring trumpeter Randy Brecker who added a lot to this music:

Author of text: Maciej Nowotny (

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