Sunday, October 7, 2012

Jazz Choral and Tomasz Szukalski - Borzomski Wawoz & Body and Soul (1989)

Jazz Chorał (choir) and Tomasz Szukalski Quartet

Jazz Chorał (Gruzja) - Aleksander Kiładze-conductor
Tomasz Szukalski - saxophones
Artur Dutkiewicz - piano
Andrzej Cudzich - double bass
Marek Stach - drums,

Borżomski Wąwóz & Body and Soul (1989)

During recent World Championship chess match Vishy Anand when asked about some weak move he made in only game lost to Boris Gelfand he answered: "In bad position all moves seem bad". And this phrase very well applies to this album by Tomasz Szukalski. The leader (Tomasz Szukalski) was one of the most talented musicians in whole Polish jazz history. His partners (Artur Dutkiewicz, Andrzej Cudzich, Marek Stach) were cream de creme of then young jazz musicians in Polnad. The idea was brilliant: to infuse Polish jazz with World music (Georgian choir conducted by Aleksander Kiładze) which then (and still is!) was rising in popularity. But it all didn't work as expepted. Why? 

Because it was done in wrong time! Last years of communism in Poland were gloomy and uninspired. The politics by General Jaruzelski was directed to destroy all individuality, creativity, to cut all links with Western thought as much politically as culturally. In Poland there were promoted only mediocrity, the art became conservative and reactionary. Unfortunately this spirit diffused itself also into jazz music. The progress in jazz music stopped. All eyes were turned back. The quality of jazz was measured by how faithfully it copied Afroamerican masters. 

In this atmosphere even for such a talented man as saxophonist Tomasz Szukalski the task proved to be too difficult. Consequently the music on this album is disappointing: Georgian folk element (splendid in itself!) is not coherent with jazz as played by Szukalski Quartet (splendid in itself!). There are moments  when they meet together and then pure magic starts but for the most time it sounds artificial, superficial and lacks the direction. 

By Maciej Nowotny

Tracklisting: 1. Borżomski Wąwóz [02:38] 2. Gurijska (A. Kiładze - sł. lud.) [02:18] 3. Spojrzenie ukochanej (G. Cabadze - I. Karalaszwili) [04:39] 4. Hymn dla Słońca (A. Kiładze - W. Gogołaszwili) [03:01] 5. Szczęśliwy poranek (A. Kiładze - L. Beradze) [03:01] 6. In A Mellow Tone (D. Ellington - E. Gabler) [03:51] 7.  Body And Soul (J. W. Green, E. Heyman, F.Eyton, R. Sour, oprac. T. Szukalski) [07:58] 8. Pieśń portugalska (A.P. Vargas, oprac. T.Szukalski) [05:49] 9. Blues wymyślony na działce (t. Szukalski) [09:57]

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