Sunday, September 16, 2012

Tomasz Licak - Trouble Hunting (2012)

Tomasz Licak - tenor saxophone, clarinet

Sven Dam Meinild - tenor saxophone
Tomasz Dąbrowski - trumpet, balkan horn
Adi Zukanowić - rhodes, keyboards, laptop
Richard Andersson - electric bass
Anders Provis - drums

Trouble Hunting (2012)

"Trouble is my business!", this phrase by Philip Marlowe, a hero of Raymond Chandler detective stories, could very well be repeated by young Polish saxophonist Tomek Licak. As his literary prototype wherever he appears something unexpected yet very interesting is going on. Here are his last four outings: "K.R.A.N." (2009), "Last Call" (2010), first under his own name (with Artur Tuznik) "Quintet" (2011) and this year "Trouble Hunting" (2012). By listening to them one may draw following conclusions:

First, a numerous colony of Polish students at Danish Odense Music Academy is starting to make big impact on Polish scene. Apart from Tomek Licak we should mention  trumpeter Tomek Dąbrowski (who appears on this album) and guitarist Marek Kądziela to name just those who already have marked their presence to Polish audience. 

Second, the appeal of music as created by these young musicians graduating from Odense lays in their readiness to experiment, in active search for individuality, backed by very high level of performance. Licak debut record "Quintet" was kept within mainstream jazz and it was simply excellent  (read Stephan Moore's review of this album above). But though it was such a successful entry Licak did not stop there and immadietely moved forward! "Trouble Hunting" is big (if not giant!) step further in his artistic development: music is more open in structure, more spontaneous, deeper, searching. 

Third, Tomek Licak excells on all these recordings which we analyze but it is evident that apart from being talented saxophonist his strongest side is composing. It is astonishing for such a young artist (just 26 years old) with what ease he is able to give the mature form to his projects.  Seen from this perspective "Trouble Hunting" is kind of musical kaleidoscope through which we look onto whole history of jazz from bop and fusion to modern experiments of avant and free jazz. The picture looks twisted, changed, distorted but there is clear purpose in that leaving listeners with sensation of being suprised, refreshed, open to music which though rooted deeply in jazz is facing the future. Bravo!

By Maciej Nowotny

Track listing: 1. Levigatis [05:11] 2. Unexpected Fruits [10:08] 3. Lightning [06:02] 4. Journey For Celery [08:47] 5. Enigma [03:05] 6. No Return [06:34]

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