Saturday, January 25, 2014

Wojciech Jachna / Jacek Buhl – Pan Jabu (2009) ****

Wojciech Jachna - trumpet
Jacek Buhl - drums


By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by Polish Jazz duo consisting of trumpeter Wojciech Jachna (Contemporary Noise Sextet, Sing Sing Penelope) and drummer Jacek Buhl (Syfon, Glabulator). It presents eleven original compositions, all co-composed by the duo members.

The music is beautifully innovative and embodies a new sub-genre of the thriving Polish Jazz scene, which combines the tradition of trumpet / drums duos combined and expanded here with electronic and ambient sound vistas. A somewhat similar approach to music was also adopted a few years later by the An On Bast / Maciej Fortuna duo, which shares many sonic similarities with this duo. This music consists of expanded melodic themes developed by the trumpet and accompanied harmonically and rhythmically by the ambient electronic background and the drum parts. This approach seems to offer a wide plane of new possibilities, with are just being discovered lately.

Such recordings like this one emphasize the vitality and the constant drive of the young Polish Jazz musicians to innovate and discover new possibilities, rather than stay on the beaten track of mainstream Jazz, which is probably the most important characteristic of the entire scene. Of course Jachna and Buhl already demonstrated their creativity and pioneering spirit as members of other ensembles they played with, but their work in this duo is the most impressive in that respect. Their next album as a duo ("Niedokonczone Ksiazki"), recoded a year later, brought this wonderful concept to perfection.

Sadly this album is relatively quite anonymous and known mostly to a small number of Polish Jazz avant garde fans, which is a pity. It is definitely worth searching for and deserves an honorable place in any serious Polish Jazz collection, especially for people following new trends and bold pioneering progress.

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