Friday, July 15, 2011

Maciej Grzywacz - Black Wine (Fonografika, 2011)

Since I have my own broadcast on (every Tuesday 21.00-22.00 and repeats on Sunday 17.00-18.00) I plan to dedicate one hour to Polish young jazz guitarists. There are many of them and you may find reviews of their records on our site: Przemysław Strączek ("Light&Shadow"), Rafał Sarnecki ("Madman Rambles Again") or Daniel Popiałkiewicz ("The Hope For Tomarrow"). I have just name few players, there are more and although they play excellent jazz indeed it is in all cases mainstream while my heart go closer and closer to avantgarde. That's why once I started to listen to Maciej Grzywacz "Black Wine" I immadietely become excited becouse from very first notes it is obvious that though deeply rooted in mainstream jazz tradition he flirts on this CD with more twisted and broken rhythms.

Before I move further on description of music let me say few words about musicians. Maciej Grzywacz, guitarist, is well known on Polish scene both as sideman (he collaborated with Olo Walicki, Wojciech Staroniewicz, Piotr Lemańczyk or Jacek Kochan to name just a few) but also has four albums recorded as a leader. Apart from "Black Wine" (2011) there were "Things Never Done" (2006) recorded with pianist Avishai Cohen, "Forces Within" (2006) with percussisis Tyler Hornby (check his "Able To Fly") and "Fourth Dimension" (2009) with Maciej Obara. As for Yasushi Nakamura and Clarence Penn, they are both high quality players, both residing and working in New York, with Penn being much better recognized by me from his previous projects as creative and energetic force in rhythm sections he played in. 

Let's go back to music: as title suggests it's as elegant, refined and deep as good wine could be - check calm and relaxed composition by Maciej Grzywacz titled "Brothers". But as we all know wine is not entirely about tranquility and that's way I also like "Zoom Zoom" and "Black Wine" both uptempo and composed by Clarence Penn where you can hear some bop, groove and even funky accents, all so characteristic for New York style.

But as far as I am concerned this bottle of jazz becomes best when it ceases to be so elegant yet predicatble as wines of Old World and becomes wild and unexpected as those (like Chilean Carmenere or Californian Zinfandel) coming from New World. In such tunes Maciej Grzywacz play becomes little edgy reminding me at moments those of Morris or Mary Halvorson while Clarence Pence drumming sounds rugged and ethereal as those of Gerald Clever or Tony Oxley. For such moods check first of all Maciej Grzywacz composition "No Changes" or (less) in "Akurat". All in love this is certainly more than satisfactory album, in fact one of the best issued this year in Polish jazz...

Please check this site for more information and music from this album: and this site: for excellent photographs of these three gentlemen playing together.
Author of text: Maciej Nowotny 


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