Monday, September 5, 2011

Profesjonalizm - Chopin Chopin Chopin (Lado ABC, 2011) by Maciej Nowotny

Profesjonalizm (band)
Marcin Masecki - piano
Kamil Szuszkiewicz - trumpet
Michał Górczyński - clarinet, saxophon
Tomasz Duda - saxophone
Jerzy Rogiewicz - drums 
Wojciech Domagalski - double bass
Chopin Chopin Chopin (Lado ABC, 2011)

The leader of Profesjonalizm is pianist Marcin Masecki whose talent may be compared only to the greatest in history of Polish jazz as Krzysztof Komeda (pianist himself), Zbigniew Seifert or Tomasz Stańko. I observe his artistic development for more than ten years! He started as child prodigy playing in jams in legendary (now gone) jazz club Akwarium; through his first steps as professional musician taken within Grzech Piotrowski's Alchemik Band ("Sfera Szeptów") when nothing heralded he may once be such a great individuality; then through later recordings with Grzech like "Dracula In Bucharest" when his style began to dominate over music of his senior partner; to astonishing piano solo recordings like "Bob" or "John" which may be seen as last stage in moulding of his unique style. I jump a lot and omit important stages but the point is that Masecki industriously and patiently was building his own language for the most time either misunderstood or even mocked by both other musicians and audience. What was only a promise however on all previously mentioned albums has been fulfilled on "Chopin Chopin Chopin"... 
Before I briefly analyse this fascintaing music let me stop for a moment on other members of this sextet. Drummer Jurek Rogiewicz is a leader on his own (check fantastic "Levity"), his personality, his ubounded energy and enthusiasm are simply beyond description. He is supported in rhythm section by Piotr Domagalski, Rogiewicz partner from above mentioned Levity. No less prominent is brass section which consists of creme-de-creme of young avant-garde players in Polish jazz: trumpeter Kamil Szuszkiewicz ("Kapacitron"), clarinetist and tenor saxophonist Michał Górczyński ("Lark Uprsisng" or "Istikeyt/Fargangenheit") plus Tomasz Duda ("ŚĘ" or "Alchemia" among many others) playing an baritone saxophone.
As far as music is concerned it is fully composed and certainly deserves thorough analysis that would take much more than it is possible for short note on internet blog. However even brief review of influences is truly breathtaking: Bach whose "The Art Of The Fugue" or "The Well Tempered Clavier" are clearly present here; Thelonius Monk with his dissonant yet infinitely precise harmonies; Archie Shepp obsession with marches; Albert Ayler attitude toward composed element in free jazz; but also names from modern classical music should be mentioned as John Cage or Conlon Nancarrow. This picture is complemented by obvious Polish music roots as evidendeced in album's title and last composition on album which is variation on Chopin's Polonaise (B-dur so-cold "Children's"?) and clear Komeda notes scattered all over this CD but not in style, attitude or sound but in ability to establish relationship with present generation, its tastes and preferences.This list is by far incomplete and too simplified, there is much more in here, from tunes from Soviet cartoons ("Wilk i zając") to pre-bop, dense and scurvy sound of big bands from the era before stereo recordings.
I therefore stop here leaving more careful analysis to jazz critics because what I want to say is as simple as this: it is a piece of great modern entertainment nonetheless it is ambitious and deep enough to satisfy even most demanding jazz connoisseurs. It's Polish jazz at its best!!!

Check this video for sample of music:

Author of text: Maciej Nowotny

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