Monday, November 11, 2013

Generation Next – Live At Jazz Nad Odra (2013) ***

Piotr Schmidt - trumpet
Tomasz Wendt - saxophone
Jacek Namyslowski - trombone
Gabriel Niedziela - guitar
Francesco Angiuli - bass
Arek Skolik - drums

SJ 007

By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by the Polish Jazz sextet, which as the name suggests, presents the Father-to Son continuity on the local scene; four of the sextet's members are second generation of Polish Jazz personalities. Trumpeter Piotr Schmidt is a son of Andrzej Schmidt, a renowned educator and author of Jazz history books, trombonist Jacek Namyslowski is a son of the legendary saxophonist / composer Zbigniew Namyslowski, Gabriel Niedziela is a son of the celebrated bassist / composer Jacek Niedziela and finally saxophonist Tomasz Wendt is a son of saxophonist Adam Wendt. The remaining two members of the sextet are Italian bassist Francesco Angiuli and veteran drummer Arek Skolik. The sextet performs seven original compositions, two each by Schmidt, Namyslowski and Wendt and one by Niedziela. The material was recorded live at the Jazz Nad Odra Festival and at the Polish Radio's Warsaw studio.

The idea of forming a musical ensemble based on the fact that the members have something in common, other than the music they play, is always a perilous affair. Just imagine a group of left-handed players, or red-haired players or musicians who like strawberry ice cream? This is perhaps not the case at hand, but on the other hand it is difficult to guess what the purpose of this sextet really is. The music they play is straight-forward mainstream, which is completely déjà-vu and contributes no thrill and no challenge. Yes, they are all excellent players individually, but does their presence together on this album create any special interaction, which would have not happened in different circumstances? Not really.

So here we have it, an unremarkable Jazz recording, which is listenable enough but simply fades away as soon as the music is over. Considering the fact that there are hordes of fabulous young Jazz musicians on the Polish scene, who make outstanding music, this is sadly an example of what should be avoided.

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