Sunday, September 2, 2012

Maciej Fortuna Trio - Solar Ring (2012) by Adam Baruch

Maciej Fortuna - trumpet

Piotr Lemanczyk - acoustic bass
Frank Parker - drums

Solar Ring (2012)

This is the 2nd album as a leader by the young Polish Jazz trumpeter / composer Maciej Fortuna, recorded in a trio format with the excellent Polish bassist Piotr Lemanczyk and US drummer Frank Parker, who took part in Fortuna's debut recording. All the music on the album is original and of the nine compositions present Fortuna composed six, Lemanczyk two and one is a Lemanczyk / Parker co-composition.

The music is quite excellent and although kept within the boundaries of modern mainstream Jazz, it often sounds unusual as far as the tonality and rhythmic approach are concerned, incorporating World-Music elements in both areas. The fact that Fortuna decided to create the album in the difficult trumpet trio format proves his self-confidence, which fortunately is fully justified. The trio format works perfectly here and suffers nothing from the lack of an accompanying harmonic instrument.

The individual performances by all three musicians are first class from start to finish. Lemanczyk uses a full-body tone with a lot of pulsating vibrato, which is perfect for this setting and Parker ornaments the music rather than keeping time, which is done mostly by the bass. Fortuna's playing is inspired and technically excellent. His lyricism, expressed primarily by his flugelhorn solos, is the highlight of his playing, but his up-tempo trumpet excursions are exciting and quite electrifying as well. Perhaps he is not quite there yet, as far as building his completely unique voice on the trumpet, but such a process takes many years and Fortuna has, after all, all the future ahead of him.

Overall the album presents Fortuna as a maturing player / composer, who is sure to occupy a center-stage position on the vigorous Polish Jazz scene in the years to come. If the level of excellence, as documented here, as well as the refinement of his personal voice will continue on the path he has already travelled on, his success is guaranteed.

This album should prove a source of joy to all trumpet aficionados, and Jazz buffs in general, and is of course wholeheartedly recommended. Satisfaction guaranteed!

By Adam Baruch

Track listing: 1. Resume 5:35 (M. Fortuna); 2. Lobster Baby 4:40 (P. Lemańczyk); 3. Eternal 5:30 (M. Fortuna); 4. For the Old Friend 7:47 (M. Fortuna); 5. Home Pictures 7:46 (P. Lemańczyk); 6. G.r.o.o. 4:46 (M. Fortuna); 7. Sal 1:34 (P. Lemańczyk, F. Parker); 8. Solar Ring 4:40 (M. Fortuna); 9. Tryptyk 6:49 (M. Fortuna) 

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