Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Maciej Fortuna/Krzysztof Dys – Maciejewski Variations (2014)

Maciej Fortuna/Krzysztof Dys

Maciej Fortuna - trumpet
Krzysztof Dys - piano

Maciejewski Variations

DUX 1151





By Adam Baruch

This is the second album by the Polish Jazz duo: trumpeter Maciej Fortuna and pianist Krzysztof Dys. However, in contrast to their debut release, which featured their original Jazz oriented compositions, this album is dedicated to the works of the great but sadly little known 20th Century Polish composer Roman Maciejewski. Maciejewski, who spent most of his adult life outside of Poland, was only recently re-discovered by the Polish Classical music scene and now apparently also beyond the strict circle of Classical connoisseurs. The album includes thirteen variations of themes composed by Maciejewski, three of which appear here as premiere recordings.

The themes serve as departure points for the various variations, in which Fortuna and Dys add their own layers of both improvisational and compositional extensions. The sensitive dialogue between the two musicians is the key element herein, being far more significant than the interpretation of the composed themes and yet it respectfully pays homage to the original music.

The performances of both players are of course virtuosic and elegant, which can only be expected in view of their previous recording legacy. Fortuna's trumpet playing is this time much "cleaner" than his somewhat "coarse" sound he uses in the Jazz idiom. Dys also sounds closer to Classical piano approach than on his previous recordings, which of course is quite natural in this case, as the music created here is only remotely related to what is usually associated with Jazz, at least for the majority of the audiences.

The music emerges really beyond genre specifics and limitations, being simply wonderfully crafted and aesthetically fulfilling, which is what great music is supposed to be. Fortuna and Dys prove that a passionate dialogue between two Master musicians can be more effective than an entire orchestra, which is playing plainly. Their mutual respect and understanding border on telepathy and often they sound like a one-man-band, driven by one common mind.

One may wonder why so many Polish Jazz musicians chose to deal with music that bridges Classical roots with Jazz? There is no clear answer to this profound question, but perhaps the new artistic music emerging in the 21st Century is simply eradicating the genre boundaries that enslaved it in the last Century? Only time will tell.

In the meantime we have here another sublime piece of music, which easily qualifies as one of the most interesting achievements on the Polish music scene in 2014, which this duo manages to pull off second time in a row. This is something that an honest music connoisseur should definitely not try and live without, if life is supposed to have a meaning.

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