Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Dixie Warsaw Jazzmen – China Boy (2012)

Stefan Wozniakowski - trumpet
Andrzej Bigolas - clarinet, vocals
Wlodzimierz Halik - bass saxophone
Zygmund Jagodzinski - banjo, vocals
Maciej Strzelczyk - violin
Fuerte String Quartet


By Adam Baruch

This delightful album presents the Polish Traditional Jazz ensemble Dixie Warsaw Jazzmen, which comprises of musicians who used to play with other Polish Trad ensembles like Hagaw, Vistula River Brass Band, Gold Washboard and others: trumpeter Stefan Wozniakowski, clarinetist and vocalist Andrzej Bigolas, bass saxophonist Wlodzimierz Halik and banjoist and vocalist Zygmunt Jagodzinski. They invited the violinist Maciej Strzelczyk as a special guest and finally added the Fuerte String Quartet to play with them, creating a most unusual Trad ensemble with a new approach and rich sound texture.

The music includes seven classic Dixieland compositions mostly dating from the early 20th Century, newly arranged to include the string quartet parts and featuring Polish lyrics on some of them. The overall effect is quite surprising and fresh, which should please many listeners, even those who usually don't listen to Trad Jazz. It is great to see Trad Jazz still being performed vigorously and with such obvious dedication. Many younger Jazz listeners, who are unaware of the early history of the music, should find this most educational on top of being highly enjoyable.

Strzelczyk plays some wonderful solos here and all the rest of the musicians perform spotlessly and with inspiration. This is a great opportunity to take a peek at the less serious, demanding and often over-intellectual Jazz by visiting the historic sources of the music and simply having fun! Very nice indeed!

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