Monday, June 18, 2012

Sopot-Hamburg Jazz Quintet - Sopot-Hamburg Jazz Quintet (Not Two, 2002)

Sopot-Hamburg Jazz Quintet 

Maciej Sikała - saxes
Tadeusz Jakubowski - saxes
Dirk Bleese - piano
Olaf Casimir - bass
Tomasz Sowiński - drums

Sopot-Hamburg Jazz Quintet (Not Two, 2002)

The Sopot-Hamburg Quintet is a band formed by musicians well-known in their native country’s. “The Polish side” is represented by Maciej Sikala and Tomasz Sowinski, and partly also by Tadeusz Jakubowski who was born in Poland but living in Germany, and “the German side” by Dirk Bleese and Olaf Casimir.

The Polish fans of jazz probably do not need any close information on Maciej Sikala. It’s enough to mention, that he was a member of the first formation of legendary Milosc group, which recorded two records with the contribution of the late famous Lester Bowie (“Not Two” and “Talking about Life and Death”). He collaborated with innumerable Polish and other players, initially being noted in the yass circles, but for a few years focusing his musical sensitivity on jazz and in the first place on mainstream. He has also been the leading Polish tenor sax player in annual readers pool at Jazz Forum magazine for years. On this record he is accompanied by the other sax player – Tadeusz Jakubowski, his school mate, who emigrated to Germany and has been very successful there, wining international awards.

The pianist is Dirk Bleese, and the double bassist is Olaf Casimir. These are again two well-known musicians in Germany. It’s enough to mention that Olaf Casimir collaborated with a great number of recognised players like Mercer Ellington, Lionel Hampton, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Chico Freeman, Arthur Blythe, Idres Muhammad, Till Bronner, Tal Farlow czy Buddy de FrancoSo, the interests of Dirk Bleese are not only jazz and performing with such famous players as Gary Thomas and Walter Morris, but also working on theatre performances and musicals.

The youngest participant of this session is promising Tomek Sowiński, who is known as Maciej Sikala’s collaborator (playing together with his trio on “The Sheep is Found”), and recently on “Sanktoria” which he recorded with together Emil Kowalski, Piotr Lemanski and Darisz Herbasz. From time to time he is a drummer in The Leszek Mozdzer’s Trio.

So, the instruments used during the session is the return to the above mentioned band Milosc. However, the music presented by this record is different from what the Milosc made. There are seven compositions by the members of the group (three by Sikala and by Jakubowski and one by Casmir) which refer in their character to mainstream. Nearly all the compositions are relaxing at the highest level; mostly being of slow-tempo, frequently bluesy and quiet, slow improvisations. I am sure that this music will find quite a lot of listeners looking for a respite in the best, possible musical surroundings.

Track listing:
1. Antoni's Blues
2. Palatino
3. One For John
4. Lonely Boy
5. November '99
6. Vincent's Blues
7. Pu-Puu

transl. Tadeusz Kantor & Pawel Baranowski

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