Monday, May 18, 2015

Wojciech Majewski – Opowiesc (2009)

Wojciech Majewski

Wojciech Majewski - piano
Robert Majewski - trumpet
Tomasz Szukalski - saxophone
Jacek Niedziela - bass
Krzysztof Dziedzic - drums



By Adam Baruch

This is the third album by Polish Jazz pianist/composer Wojciech Majewski, recorded in a classic quintet format with trumpeter Robert Majewski (Wojciech's brother), saxophonist Tomasz Szukalski, bassist Jacek Niedziela and drummer Krzysztof Dziedzic. The album presents a solo piano piece which is followed by a seven-part Jazz suite performed by the quintet. It was recorded at the Studio Tokarnia and engineered by Jan Smoczynski, with superb sonic quality, as expected.

The music is all kept within the mainstream tradition, with certain Classical Music accents, but those are quite marginal. The melodic themes are basically vehicles for extended solos played by the quintet members. It is hard to follow the "suite" concept musically, as it lacks a clear coherence, but nevertheless the music is interesting and flows gently from one part of the suite to the next. There are the obvious Polish Jazz characteristics, like lyricism and melancholy, in which this music is completely drenched, clearly defining its origin and tradition.

The true forte of this album is the incredible musicianship, which is not surprising considering these are some of the best and most experienced second generation Polish Jazz musicians. Especially interesting is the presence of Szukalski as this is one of the last recordings in which he participated before his tragic death. The album is full of superb solos and ensemble performances, which are truly inspired. Majewski dedicates this album to the memory of his Father, the legendary Polish Jazz trumpeter Henryk Majewski, who died shortly before this music was recorded.

Overall this is an interesting experiment in composing an extended Jazz suite-like composition, beautifully performed by first class musicians, an effort which deserves to be heard by Jazz connoisseurs all over the world.

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