Thursday, September 8, 2011

Piotr Wojtasik - Hope (Power Bros, 2003)

Piotr Wojtasik - trumpet, fluegelhorn,

David Liebman - tenor saxophone
Clarence Seay - bass
Ronnie Burrage - drums
Leszek Możdżer - piano
Maciej Sikała - tenor saxophone 
I am probably the only reviever in Poland that do not share common admiration towards this music. In my review I will put forth reasons for such a opinion especially in view that this music has multiple strenghts. First of all there could be no stronger line-up in Polish jazz than that gathered for this recording. Trumpeter Piotr Wojtasik, saxophonist Maciej Sikała and especially pianist Leszek Możdżer are real stars and leaders of important bands on their own which played a big role in history of jazz in Poland (like Miłość for example). No less prominent are foreign players: double-bassist Clarence Seay is mostly educator, but he also was playing with Wallace Rooney or Wynton Marsalis. Ronnie Burrage, a drummer, is very similiar story, definitely great instrumentalists and worthy sideman (he played with Archie Shepp and numerous others big names) although he wasn't able to build any coherent career  as original artist on his own. On the other hand Dave Liebman is real star name in world of jazz, well remembered from his cooperation with Miles Davis but since then he consistently builds his reputation as top saxophonist active as well in mainstream as in avantgarde projects.

Therefore one should not wonder that music is really very, very well played. It sounds especially well when it's uptempo reminding great albums of the masters of bop trumpet like Lee Morgan, Kenny Dorham or Freddie Hubbard. When down-tempo music loses a bit of its appeal but remains solid enough to keep listener's attention until bop storm returns again. 

Another strong side of this album are all original composition which fill this CD. Some of them are really good ones though unfortunately they do not go away even for an inch from typical jazz structure with theme, improvisations and reprise. And this is my my only but serious objection to all albums as exemplified by this so good one: what is the point to record yet another albums that sounds exactly like the best bop albums of the past? Jazz is not classicical music and I do not seek in it rehearsals of old music. I am looking forward to music that sounds fresh and reflects present time. So this is basically great piece of retro-jazz...so much and yet so disappointingly little... 

Different staff and tunes and yet style very similar as on most of Piotr Wojtasik recordings:


Author of text: Maciej Nowotny

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