Friday, September 30, 2011

Tomasz Licak & Artur Tuznik Quintet feat. Anders Mogensen - Quintet (BlackOut, 2011) by Maciej Nowotny

Tomasz Licak & Artur Tuźnik Quintet feat. Anders Mogensen (band)
Tomasz Licak - tenor saxophone
Tomasz Dąbrowski - trumpets
Artur Tuźnik - piano
Andreas Lang - bass
Anders Mogensen - drums

Quintet (BlackOut, 2011)

Danish Carl Nielsen Music Academy in Odense has become quite popular among young Polish students lately. Thus the tradition of Polish-Scandinavian jazz links, dating back to Krzysztof Komeda times, is continued and not only by great masters like Tomasz Stańko (check his last "Dark Eyes" with new quintet) but also by young generation. Let me then briefly introduce players: Tomek Licak plays on tenor saxophone while Artur Tuźnik on piano. This is their second recording made together, of which I am aware of, after last year debut album "Last Call". That recording session was a prize for winning in the Bielska Zadymka Jazzowa festival. I wrote a favourable review of this album which featured Scandinavian rhythm-section (Emil Brun Madsen, Rasmus Schmidt) and was assertive mainstream jazz with clear hard bop roots. With minor changes, Tomek Licak replaced by saxophonist Maciek Kądziela, this group won this year in another top festival in Poland namely Jazz Nad Odrą (check this link for details). On "Quintet" we see following changes in personnel: rhythm section remains Scandinavian but musicians changed to Andreas Lang on bass and Anders Mogensen on drums plus Tomek Licak is joined by Tomek Dąbrowski who is rising star among Polish young trumpeters noted already by promising play in Magnolia Quartet or in OFF Quartet (review of this album soon on our blog). All above mentioned musicians are either students or teachers (Mogensen) at Odense. 

So now what is music on this album? When compared to "Last Call" it gives even more punch thanks to inclusion of fifth player, and Dąbrowski on trumpet is not a shy guy, but first of all because of changes in rhythm section.  Pulse as supplied by Andreas Lang and, most of all, Anders Mogensen is varied, energetic, colorful and creates challenging background for horns. And these young Polish horns are great at moments, especially when they play free, wild, unrestrained as in splendid "Uwaga!", "Złooo" or "Last Call" (all compositions by Tuźnik). This last tune features great solo by Dąbrowski but Mogensen drumming is phenomenal as well. "Hobbit" is Tomasz Licak showcase (btw it's his composition) with edgy and aggressive horn interweaving with excellent Dąbrowski trumpet. Last "Flow" shows perhaps what is the future for these players: less structure, less copying of old masters, less boundaries and more...yes...flow. Hopefully this will be direction these promising young musicians will take even more decisively in their next undertakings. Check music to draw your own conclusions:

Author: Maciej Nowotny

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