Saturday, September 22, 2012

Piotr Baron - Jazz na Hrade (Multisonic, 2012) by Adam Baruch

Piotr Baron – soprano, tenor saxophone

Adam Milwiw-Baron – trumpet
Dominik Wania – piano
Maciej Adamczak – double bass
Przemysław Jarosz – drums

Jazz na Hrade (Multisonic, 2012)

This album presents a live recording by the great Polish Jazz saxophonist / composer Piotr Baron and his quintet, which also includes trumpeter Adam Milwiw-Baron (his son), pianist Dominik Wania, bassist Maciej Adamczak and drummer Przemyslaw Jarosz. The music was recorded at the beautiful Prague Castle, which holds Jazz concerts of the highest standard, which are also recorded and released on CD by the Czech Multisonic label. The album includes only three expanded performances, two composed by Baron (both appeared on his superb last album "Kaddish") and one is an arrangement of a 14th century Polish Easter song. Two of the tracks are almost 30 minutes long and the third is almost 20 minutes long.

The concert in introduced by the Czech President Vaclav Klaus, who personally opens all the Jazz venues at the Castle – a lesson to be studied by all Presidents - in which he talks about the meeting between him and Piotr Baron, which led to the invitation to play at the Castle, and the special relationship between the Czech and Polish Jazz scenes over the years – a subject worthy of a book by itself.

The music is deeply spiritual, as is all music made by Baron, reflecting his profoundly personal relation with belief (and not religion, as Baron surely demonstrates a cross-religion / one God approach). Accepting the model (spiritually and musically) of the great Godfather of spiritual Jazz, John Coltrane, Baron develops his music very much in the same direction, but uses his very own language and cultural affiliations, with his Polish roots being openly noticeable.

This is Jazz with a true capital J, music of the highest caliber, which penetrates the listener's heart and shakes his soul. It is absorbing and captivating, breathtakingly beautiful and intellectually intriguing, all at once. There is very little music of such quality being made these days, so this is even more impressive.

Pianist Dominik Wania, who is definitely one of the best Polish Jazz pianists of the young generation, plays some amazing music here and I'm glad that Baron recognized his qualities and allowed him so much space and opportunity to express his amazing talent. But of course all these musicians play divinely, with the leader magically applying his charm, even when not playing.

This music is way beyond recommendation – it is simply a crying shame that every true Jazz lover will probably not have an opportunity to immerse in its magic. If you can, count yourself lucky and blessed!

Side Note: This album is a part of the “Jazz at the Castle” series, which presents live recordings performed at various venues inside the charming Prague Castle, the residence of the President of the Czech Republic. The series was initiated in 2004 by President Vaclav Klaus and symbolizes the respect and love of all things Cultural by the Czech People. 

By Adam Baruch

Track listing: 1. Kaddish 2. Chrystus zmartwychwstan jest 3. Modlitwa (Prayer)

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