Friday, October 19, 2012

Blues Duo - Sz-Sz (1989)

Blues Duo

Tomasz Szukalski - saksofony
Janusz Szprot - fortepian

Sz-Sz (1989)

Tomasz Szulaski is probably THE best saxophonist in Polish jazz history. He earned this reputation while playing with Tomasz Stańko, Zbigniew Namysłowski and countless others. His incredible versality allowed him to fit well as much in Stańko's free jazz "Balladyna", on Namysłowski's mainstream "Kuyaviak Goes Funky" or, recently, on Aga Zaryan's pop "My Lullaby". His own project swere not always so succesful. There were excellent ones like collaborations with Józef Skrzek (check "Ambitus") and less succesful like this one with Janusz Szprot. The difference is that Józef Skrzek, though not jazz musician himself, had enough charisma and individuality to counterbalance Szukalski overpowering presence. While Szprot is just very able accompaniator. And nothing more. Enough for so many ordinary musicians but it revealed to be too little for such a genius as Szukalski. In consequence this album is entirely one-sided: it comprises one after another splendid saxophone improvisations of Szukalski and one after another meagre, pale, insufficiant piano lines by Szprot. Unfortunately (for this recording) jazz is always team effort. Without interplay the music lacks depth and in consequence fails to engage the listener. Excellent album but it could be great. It is a pity it isn't...

1. Amazing Grace
2. Backwater Blues
3. Trouble In Mind
4. Sz-Sz Blues
5. Left Alone
6. Goin Home
7. Make Me A Pallet On Your Floor
8. Nobody Knows You When You Are Down And Out
9. Proof Of Man
10. Barefoot Boy From Queens Town
11. Blue Moon

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