Sunday, March 23, 2014

Nahorny Trio - Hope (2014) ****1/2

Nahorny Trio

Włodzimierz Nahorny - piano
Mariusz Bogdanowicz - acoustic bass
Piotr Biskupski - drums

Hope (Confiteor, 2014)




By Maciej Nowotny

Włodzimierz Nahorny (born 1941) is one of those key figures without which such a phenomenon as Polish jazz would be simply unimaginable. Not only he cooperated with nearly all significant musicians on our scene with his collaboration with Andrzej Trzaskowski, Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski and Andrzej Kurylewicz being especially memorable. But as evidenced by his long and successful career his music embodies all constitutive qualities of Polish jazz as a unique combination of jazz, pop and folk music build upon strong base of classical music harmony. The outcome of such a melange, at least as delivered by Nahorny, is breathtaking: light, inspiring, joyous and dance-like. It resonates with the energy of debutante while offering the riches of the fully matured artist whose technical proficiency is awesome and whose musical language is entirely his own.

On this record as on other his projects in last decade we find along him a double bassist Mariusz Bogdanowicz who recently is quite active (check for example his last year "Syntonia") and drummer Piotr Biskupski. These two middle-aged guys are respected musicians on our scene but - as I have had an opportunity to see during concert premiere - they treat this project in a very special way and are well aware what a privilege it is to be able to play together with the musician of Nahorny caliber. On the other hand they fully reciprocate his trust rising on this album to the very heights of their abilities!

As for the program of music on this disc one can seldom find a better one and it shall not be surprising since it is the fruit of many years of work. We will find here a title track "Hope" which clearly is inspired by great patriotic music by Chopin such as "Polonaise Brillante" and other pieces. But apart from that there is on this disc  for example lovely medley of three folk songs from Kurpie region rewritten in jazz harmonies. Or "Jews" where trio pays hommage to musical tradition of Polish Jews. But I like the most the music composed for theater "I love O'Keefe" and "Czyścica": nor folk, nor classical, nor jazz, nor pop or anything else though containing all these traditions. It is simply the music of Nahorny and his trio, the one like no other in Poland, or elsewhere...

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