Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Irek Wojtczak - Outlook (Allegro Records, 2007) by Maciej Nowotny

Irek Wojtczak – saxophones, flute 

Piotr Mania- piano
Patryk Stachura – bass
Kuba Staruszkiewicz – drums

Outlook (Allegro Records, 2007)

Irek Wojtczak is still young but his career is very interesting example of how young generation avoid being classified in one genre only. He is doing equally fine in experimental "Freeyo" (2009) or "Jebał Was pies" (2010), free jazz "Trio+2" (2011), avantgarde "A-Kineton" (2012) and mainstream releases like this one titled "Outlook". This is just a sample of many more recordings he did during his career but nonetheless proving not only his immense versatility but also that his skills are highly valued by other artists. It is important to note that in all these projects there were involved best musicians and that they may be counted as most important in jazz music in Poland  in recent years.

What distinguish "Outlook" from all previously mentioned discs is that it is Wojtczak's own album, second (as far as I gathered), after "Look to the Sky" (2004) while in 2011 he issued his last disc "Direct Memory Access". This last album was disappointment to me, it was too eclectic, lacked internal coherency. On the other hand when I had the opportunity to listen to material from this record played live during recent JazzArt Festival in Katowice it made very good impression on me! It was very interesting and creative mixture of modern jazz and Polish folk music, so well moulded as nobody else did since such great recordings of the past as Namysłowski's "Kuyaviak Goes Funky". 

"Outlook" is less looking for something new but rather exploring mainstream jazz field but it does so with an astonishiong skill indeed. Everything here is on very high level: great, though young, musicians (pianist Piotr Mania deserves exceptional praise), deep interplay between them, inspiring tunes all composed by the leader. If Wojtczak one day unites in certain future project of his this incredible technical proficieny of "Outlook" and creativity of "Direct Memory Access" or some of his free jazz projects, Polish jazz will obviously gain an artist of the greatest calibre. That is at least what I would like for him to happen!

By Maciej Nowotny

Track listing:
1. Walking
2. Supersonic
3. 55-54
4. Jungle in the Cathedral
5. For Leon
6. Vamp

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