Sunday, May 31, 2015

Kamil Szuszkiewicz - Istina (2015)

Kamil Szuszkiewicz

Kamil Szuszkiewicz - trumpet, other instruments
Zuzanna Lelek - voice
Hubert Zemler - metallophone, drums, cymbals, bowed guitar, percussive guitar, temple block

Istina

Wounded Knife CUT#21

By Bartosz Nowicki

"Istina" to druga po "Bugle Call" (2014) kaseta Kamila Szuszkiewicza, wydana pod kuratelą Wounded Knife. Choć oba materiały znacząco różnią się od siebie, posiadają również zaskakujące punkty wspólne, stanowiące zarys indywidualnego stylu trębacza i eksperymentatora.

Po niezwykle ascetycznym i intensywnym solo na trąbkę ("Bugle Call"), tym razem, do czynienia mamy z zaskakującą wręcz erupcją zagadkowych wątków i inspirujących hałasów. Potężna moc ekspresji, której świadkiem jesteśmy na "Istinie", pojawia się wespół z towarzyszącymi nagraniu gośćmi: folkową wokalistką Zuzanną Lelek oraz znakomitym stołecznym perkusistą i multiinstrumentalistą Hubertem Zemlerem. Co ciekawe, za gościa można również potraktować Szuszkiewicza - trębacza, gdyż jego sztandarowy instrument występuje w niniejszym materiale okazjonalnie, jeśli wziąć pod uwagę gęstość i zróżnicowanie dźwiękowej narracji. Tym razem autor skupił się bowiem na pętlach, szumach i fakturach wydobywanych z analogowych efektów i instrumentów, budujących muskularną strukturę dwóch kilkunastominutowych kompozycji.

Pierwszy plan "Istiny" należy z pewnością do Zuzanny Lelek, która magnetyczną mocą białego śpiewu bezspornie przyciąga uwagę słuchacza, zachęcając tym samym do poszukiwania etnicznych źródeł jej ekspresji. Przenikliwość owego rozdzierającego głosu pozostaje na tyle intensywna i podniosła, że zdaje się być częścią jakiegoś ludowego rytuału, wyrwaną z pierwotnego kontekstu i zaaranżowaną w równie zjawiskową narrację. Kośćcem i budulcem owej narracji są z kolei kawalkady elektronicznych szumów, pomruki analogowych burdonów, skrzące noisem syntezatory, mocno modyfikowane gitary czy mechaniczny stukot perkusjonaliów. Ale to tylko jedna z twarzy "Istiny", drapieżna, transowa i teatralnie wręcz podniosła. Drugie oblicze tego nagrania jest osadzone w głębokich pokładach muzycznej melancholii, wybrzmiewającej dźwięczącymi girlandami dzwonków Huberta Zemlera. 

Silnie zarysowana struktura muzyczna "Istiny" jest preludium, a także zwieńczeniem dla krótkiej, acz niezwykle sugestywnej wypowiedzi Szuszkiewicza - trębacza. Kiedy bowiem jesteśmy już mocno wprowadzeni w intensywną atmosferę nagrania, akcentowaną z jednej strony szumem i zgiełkiem, z drugiej zaś uwodzącym nurtem melodii metalofonów, wtedy znakomite wejście, niczym deus ex achina, notuje autor nagrania, onieśmielając słuchaczy kilkuminutową davis'owską frazą, wynoszącą całą kompozycję do zjawiskowego poziomu. Po tej kulminacji wszystkie elementy nagrania zaczynają wybrzmiewać jednogłośnie w hipnotycznej mantrze, prowadzone transowym odmierzaniem bębnów, bulgoczącą trąbką, oraz dronującym tłem, momentami postrzępionym chropowatością białego szumu. 

Druga z kompozycji zdaje się zaklinać wszystkie zarysowane wcześniej wątki i budować z nich pulsującą strukturę, podporządkowaną regułom repetycji. Bodźce zostają zwielokrotnione i udramatyzowane. Głos Lelek zostaje zamrożony w nieskończonym, przeszywającym wrzasku i zdynamizowany marszowym rytmem perkusji oraz deliryczną powtarzalnością elektroniki. Ta część staje się emanacją siły, twórczej euforii, pozbawioną subtelnych akcentów, kontrastów, meandrów kompozycyjnych i narracyjnych, za to silnie osadzoną w motoryce plemiennego transu i pełną ekstatycznego napięcia. 

"Istina" w języku chorwackim oznacza prawdę. W przypadku nagrań Szuszkiewicza prawda wydaje się być obarczona wieloma zagadkami i niedopowiedzeniami, które w muzyce instrumentalisty wydają się najbardziej pociągające.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Warsztaty Modern Jazz And Improvised Music


Warsztaty Modern Jazz And Improvised Music, Czerwińsk nad Wisłą, 11-16.08.2015.

Warsztaty kierowane są do:

 - muzyków średnio zaawansowanych: znajomość podstawowych skal, budowy akordów (iii-iv-v dźwiękowych), harmonii (forma bluesa, kadencja ii-v-i)
- muzyków zaawansowanych chcących poszerzyć swoje horyzonty muzyczne o zagadnienia modern jazzu oraz istotne różnice między free jazzem a muzyką improwizowaną.
cena warsztatów to 1000zł – zawiera udział, zakwaterowanie, wyżywienie oraz ubezpieczenie.

Instrumenty:

- gitara
- gitara basowa
- instrumenty klawiszowe
- saksofon
- kontrabas
- perkusja

Pomysł naszych warsztatów opiera się na trzech filarach tj: modern jazz, free jazz, muzyka improwizowana. Uważamy że współczesny muzyk improwizujący powinien biegle poruszać się w tych trzech gatunkach. Muzyk jazzowy to za mało, muzyk free jazzowy i improwizujący również – profesjonalny muzyk powinien bazować na tych trzech silnych filarach. Na przykładach kilku mistrzów gatunku, będziecie mieli okazję zobaczyć, jak poruszać się w świecie współczesnej, nowoczesnej muzyki jazzowej. Nauczymy was, jak grać standardy w sposób niestandardowy – każdy z wykładowców będzie czuwał nad tym, jak operować timem, harmonią, aby nauczyć was, jak standardy, przez które każdy z muzyków musi przejść, zagrać inaczej, fajnie, ciekawie. Nauczymy jak grać jazz tak, żeby nie było nudno, przedstawimy techniki przearanżowania standardów jazzowych, nauczymy technik kompozycji, które zawsze się sprawdzają, czyli zobaczycie jak komponować, nawet kiedy nie mamy weny.

Wykłady i konferencje będą prowadzone przez poszczególnych wykładowców, mistrzów danego gatunku, którzy na przykładzie swoich doświadczeń, pokazując „tu i teraz”, swoje własne spojrzenie na muzykę, będą uczyć was jak improwizować, jak akompaniować, jak grać „organicznie". Naszym celem będzie poszerzenie horyzontów o istotne elementy: umiejętność frazowania free, rozwinięcie osobistego języka muzycznego, umiejętność improwizowania kolektywnego oraz kreatywnej gry zespołowej. Poruszymy zagadnienie polimetrii – jak grać na 7,9,13, przedstawimy wam w ciekawy sposób historię jazzu: gatunki jazzowe oraz rozwój sceny improwizowanej amerykańskiej oraz europejskiej, przedstawimy główne nurty oraz przedstawicieli od - Ornette'a Colemana po amerykańską szkołę free jazzu SIM. Uczestnik po tych 4 dniach powinien wyjść z konkretnym zasobem wiedzy i pomysłami do pracy osobistej z instrumentem i zespołem.

Wykładowcy:

Marek Kądziela – gitara
Artur Tuźnik – instrumenty klawiszowe
Ireneusz Wojtczak – saksofon
Krzysztof Szmańda – perkusja
Maciej Garbowski – kontrabas
Maciej Kądziela - wykładowca wspomagający

Harmonogram zajęć:

9:00 – 9:30 śniadanie
10:00 – 10:50 sesja muzyki improwizowanej
11:00 – 12:50 zespoły
13:00 – 14:30 obiad/ przerwa
14:30 – 15:20 nowe nurty, gatunki – audycje
15:30 – 17:00 zespoły
17:00 – 18:00 konsultacje indywidualne
18:00 – 19:00 kolacja
19:00 – 20:00 przerwa/ próby
21:00 jam session

www.modernjazz.pl

Friday, May 29, 2015

Igor Osypov Quintet – I (2015)

Igor Osypov Quintet

Igor Osypov - guitar
Logan Richardson - alto saxophone
Elias Stemeseder - piano
Martin Buhl - double bass
Jesus Vega - drums
Kuba Gudz - drums

I


UNIT 4582

By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by Ukrainian (resident in Berlin) guitarist/composer Igor Osypov, recorded in a quintet setting with American saxophonist Logan Richardson, Austrian pianist Elias Stemeseder, Danish bassist Martin Buhl and alternating drummers: American Jesus Vega and Polish Jakub Gudz. All these musicians, except for Richardson, are students at the Jazz Institute Berlin. The album presents nine original compositions, all by Osypov.

The music is typical modern Jazz, basically pretty mainstream, with some unusual rhythmic patterns, but other than that quite straightforward. The melodies are a bit thin and forgettable, but the idea here is to play as many notes as possible by everybody on board, so the improvisation and soloing are at the centre.

These are very talented, but also very young players, which becomes immediately apparent. The quintet has some sync/timing problems and everything starts to sound a bit alike after the third tune or so. The guitar sound is a bit to sharp and Pat Metheny like, the pianist seems to live in a separate universe and the only thing that sounds truly coherent is the bass. In short parts of this album are really difficult to listen to.

Overall this album was perhaps recorded a bit too early, before the music and the quintet matured enough, to be able to achieve the effect they deserve. Better luck next time!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Novi Singers – Five, Four, Three (2015)

Novi Singers

Ewa Wanat - vocals
Janusz Mych - vocals
Waldemar Parzyński - vocals
and others

Five, Four, Three

GAD 025



By Adam Baruch

This is the fifth album by the Polish Jazz vocal ensemble Novi Singers, recorded after the ensemble's founder/leader/primary composer/arranger Bernard Kawka left Poland for the greener pastures of the Big Apple, following a whole wave of his compatriots, like Michal Urbaniak, Urszula Dudziak, Adam Makowicz and others. Kawka's departure seemed to have little impact on the remaining three members of the ensemble: Ewa Wanat, Janusz Mych and Waldemar Parzyński. They immediately embarked upon the recording of this album, which as usual included original material, composed by Parzynski (seven of the nine compositions on this album) and Mych (the other two compositions). Three of the compositions included also lyrics (in English).

The ensemble was accompanied by an instrumental combo, which featured top Polish Jazz musicians: keyboardist Wojciech Karolak, guitarist Marek Bliziński, bassist Paweł Jarzębski and drummer Czesław Bartkowski, and the Polish Radio Jazz Studio Orchestra conducted by Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski. In addition to the original album, this remastered edition includes four bonus tracks, two of which feature the vocalist Tomasz Ochalski, who expanded the ensemble to the original quartet lineup for a brief period. The original album was released only three years after it was recorded, which was an example of how political bureaucracy dictated the fate of musicians behind the Iron Curtain.

Musically this album was a continuation of the fantastic work they did on the previous releases, but the stress of loosing their leader and the confusion that followed is pretty obvious. The selection of material and inclusion of songs is obviously a step towards commercialism, but the album still presents several top-notch numbers, beautifully and skillfully executed, which stand up to par with their earlier work. But overall the glory days of Novi Singers were over and although they would record a couple of additional albums, they were moving further away from the revolutionary and innovative vocal achievements of their early days.

Considering the fact that this music has been unavailable for such a long time this is definitely another project by GAD Records, which deserves to be praised. Novi Singers fans will find this an indispensable part of their collection and hopefully we will get a complete set of Novi Singers reissues sometime in the future.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Jerzy Milian – Jerzy Milian 80 (2015)

Jerzy Milian

Jerzy Milian - vibraphone
and others

Jerzy Milian 80

GAD 026





By Adam Baruch

Vibraphonist/composer/arranger/bandleader and one of the Godfathers of modern Polish Jazz, Jerzy Milian, celebrated his eightieth birthday in April 2015 and this limited birthday edition album is a celebration of his outstanding lifelong career, emphasizing his talents as a composer. The fourteen tracks recorded in Poland and abroad between 1956 and 2004, present original compositions by Milian performed in diverse settings ranging from small combos to Big Bands/Orchestras and showcasing his talents as composer, arranger and instrumentalist.

The music ranges from Jazz compositions to popular music pieces, all elegantly arranged and performed, and tells the story of Milian's life as a continuous soundtrack, which is a great fun to listen to and a tribute to his creativity. Since nine of the tracks on this album are previously unreleased, this is also a significant addition to the available discography of Milian's work and a historical document of the development of Polish Jazz.

Additionally, this is also a superb introduction to Milian's work for people who are not yet familiar with his music and therefore a wonderful window to his world. Wholeheartedly recommended!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Enter Music Festival 2015


Na piątej edycji poznańskiego festiwalu, w dn. 2–3 czerwca wystąpią m.in. Leszek Możdżer, Ambrose Akinmusire, Michael Wollny, Tamar Halperin, Atom String Quartet.

02.06

19:30 Sorin Zlat Trio
21:00 Mateusz Pospieszalski - Pamiętnik z Powstania Warszawskiego, z gościnnym udziałem Anny Marii Jopek i Adama Nowaka
22.30 Leszek Możdżer - Bal w Operze

03.06

19:30 Leszek Możdżer/Dominik Bukowski/Atom String Quartet
21:00 Ambrose Akinmusire Quartet
22:30 Michael Wollny/Tamar Halperin feat. Hanno Busch

Na mały jubileusz festiwalu Leszek Możdżer, dyrektor artystyczny, zaryzykował wprowadzenie nowych akcentów. Enter 2015 to festiwal słów i dźwięków. Będzie miał swoich bohaterów nie tylko w osobach instrumentalistów, którzy ponad świetnym warsztatem, uosabiają to, co w muzyce najważniejsze - wolność, polot, wyobraźnię, abstrakcyjne myślenie - ale wraz z aktorami i wokalistami zabierze nas w świat polskiej poezji. Świat, w którym rządzi słowo.

W tym roku na scenie nad jeziorem spotkają się nie tylko artyści czerpiący z tradycji jazzowej, np. Ambrose Akinmusire i Sorin Zlat, czy poszukujący poza jego głównym nurtem wibrafonista Dominik Bukowski i klawesynistka Tamar Halperin, ale też śpiewający aktorzy, którzy na co dzień pracują z polskim słowem.

Pierwszego dnia festiwalu na scenie nad jeziorem wystąpi łącznie ponad 40 artystów. Wieczór wypełni poezja Tuwima i Białoszewskiego. Dwa muzyczne spektakle stworzą dyptyk, dzięki któremu będzie można spojrzeć na polską historię i rzeczywistość z dwóch kontrastujących ze sobą punktów widzenia. Poemat Juliana Tuwima „Bal w Operze” do muzyki Leszka Możdżera zaprezentują artyści wrocławskiego Teatru Capitol, którzy w premierowej obsadzie wraz z kompozytorem wykonają koncertową wersję „Balu”, dla której emocjonalną przeciwwagą będzie koncert „Białoszewski 44” z muzyką Mateusza Pospieszalskiego, z udziałem Kingi Preis i Adama Nowaka z zespołu Raz, Dwa, Trzy. Pospieszalski w swojej złożonej kompozycji sięga po różnorodne formy muzyki: nawiązuje do barokowej polifonii czy litanii i prowadzi ją aż po brzmienia zupełnie nowoczesne po to, żeby jak najpełniej wyrazić słowo poety.

Ponownie w świat abstrakcji zabierze nas koncert kwartetu Ambrosego Akinmusire, który uczył się gry kompozycji i muzyki od Herbie’ego Hancocka, Wayne’a Shortera i Terence’a Blancharda i stworzył znakomity, świetnie zgrany, mocno osadzony w jazzowej tradycji zespół, który zachwyca jazzową publiczność na całym świecie.

Drugi dzień festiwalu rozpocznie się z pozoru klasycznie. Leszek Możdżer wraz z Dominikiem Bukowskim i fenomenalnym Atom String Quartet zagrają kompozycje pianisty napisane na wibrafon i kwartet smyczkowy. Artyści po raz kolejny zabiorą głos w sprawie unieważnienia granicy oddzielającej świat muzyki klasycznej od świata muzyki jazzowej. Po tym spotkaniu wirtuozów z których każdy jest osobnym unikatowym muzycznym światem, możemy się spodziewać mnóstwa barw i spontaniczności ale przede wszystkich wyrafinowanego, szlachetnego brzmienia i radości muzykowania.

Ostatni koncert urodzinowej edycji będzie miłym odniesieniem do wcześniejszych festiwali, na których, w różnych konfiguracjach, pojawiał się już Michael Wollny. Tym razem usłyszymy go w bajecznym duecie na fortepian i klawesyn, wraz z urzekającą Tamar Haperin, w specjalnie wznowionym programie, który zachwycił Leszka Możdżera na Festiwalu Jazz Baltica 2010. „Wunderkammer” to transowa, hipnotyzująca podróż po systemie tonalnym, w którym instrumenty strunowe stają się swoistym medium zadającym pytanie, na które odpowiedź może dać tylko proces zanurzenia się w tu i teraz. Tajemnicza, intrygująca, na swój sposób rytualna muzyczna forma będzie idealnym zakończeniem piątej edycji Enter Music Festival.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Jerzy Milian – Semiramida (2015)

Jerzy Milian

Jerzy Milian - vibraphone
Jacek Bednarek - bass
Jacek Ostaszewski - bass
Grzegorz Gierłowski - drums

Semiramida

GAD 024



By Adam Baruch

This is the fourth installment of the archival series released by GAD Records, which presents the work of Polish Jazz vibraphonist/composer/bandleader Jerzy Milian. This chapter is dedicated to the Milian trio, which was his basic platform in the mid to late 1960s and which was eventually used to record his formal debut album "Bazaar" in 1969. This album collects the recordings made by the trio during four consecutive editions of the Jazz Jamboree Festival in the years 1966-1969. The trio included bassist Jacek Bednarek, who was replaced in 1969 by Jacek Ostaszewski, and drummer Grzegorz Gierlowski. On the 1969 recordings the violinist Marian Siejka is also present. The album comprises of eleven compositions, five of which are Milian originals and one is co-composed by Milian and Ostaszewski, two are by Bednarek and the remaining three are standards.

Almost fifty years later a retrospective analysis of these recordings clearly shows how revolutionary and ahead of their time they were then and how relevant they still are now. The vibraphone trio by itself was quite a unique concept at the time with only very few parallels, and combined with the highly unusual musical approach led by Milian, which combined Cool, Third Stream and Polish Romanticism, presented the listener with an intellectual challenge of the highest degree. Additionally the World Music influence added by both Bednarek and Ostaszewski (the latter was about to start the legendary group Ossian soon after), was also utterly innovative at the time. It is fascinating to hear the progress from the first track of this album to the last, which turns out to be almost completely Free Form.

The album is also a powerful showcase of the incredible talents of two legendary Polish Jazz bassists, as these trio recordings allow us to hear their incredible contributions upfront. Gierlowski also plays beautifully and of course Milian's playing is phenomenal, but that is hardly surprising.

These live recordings suffer from minor sonic quality problems, even after they have been well remastered, but vibraphone always presents quite a challenge and considering the conditions available behind the Iron Curtain at the time it is miraculous this music sounds as it does. Overall this is another important addition to the recorded history of Polish Jazz, which should not be missed. Hopefully more gems like this one will be made available to the eagerly awaiting fans.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Mulasta Trio – Live In Green Eye (2009)

Mulasta Trio

Tomasz Mucha - violin
Lasse Lindgren - bass
Bartek Staromiejski - drums

Live In Green Eye

BCD 23




By Adam Baruch

This is a live recording by the Mulasta Trio, which consists of Polish Jazz violinist Tomasz Mucha, Finnish bassist Lasse Lindgren and Polish drummer Bartek Staromiejski. They perform seven compositions, four of which are originals by Mucha, one is a Finnish tune, one is a standard and finally the last one is a folk tune arranged by Lindgren.

The music is performed almost completely acoustically, which is very different from most contemporary Jazz violin recordings, which sound mostly electric. This acoustic approach is reminiscent of early Jazz violin recordings before violin was almost completely drawn into Fusion. Although improvised and swinging, the overall result is not exactly within the mainstream Jazz boundaries and includes also World Music elements. The atmosphere is very relaxed and the musicians obviously have a great fun playing together.

The essence of the music is based on the intimate exchanges between the violin and the bass, with both instruments playing alongside constantly. This wonderful dialogue is the absolute highlight of this recording. Both Mucha and Lindgren perform with virtuosity and finesse, which definitely deserves to be discovered. Staromiejski respectfully accompanies the two soloists trying not to interfere with their performances and does a perfect job in that respect. Mucha's compositions are all rounded and wonderfully lyrical, fitting elegantly this setting.

Overall this is a beautiful, graceful and delicate album, which is sadly little known and surely deserves a wider exposure. Although the Polish Jazz violin already holds a proud position in that music's history, this acoustic variety surely deserves also to be a part of that heritage. I'd surely love to hear more of this kind of music in the future.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Bartlomiej Oles/Tomasz Dabrowski – Chapters (2015)

Bartłomiej Oleś/Tomasz Dąbrowski

Bartłomiej Oleś - drums
Tomasz Dąbrowski - trumpet

Chapters

FENOMMEDIA 012




By Adam Baruch

Trumpet/drums duo recordings are a very special chapter in Jazz history and they include some fascinating interplays recorded over time by American Jazz musicians, such as the legendary Don Cherry/Ed Blackwell or Max Roach/Dizzy Gillespie recordings. Some American/European trumpet/drums duos are also worth mentioning, such as the Leo Smith/Gunter Sommer, Dave Douglas/Han Bennink or Bill Dixon/Tony Oxley, documented on their respective recordings. On the contemporary Polish Jazz scene this relatively rare pairing of instruments seems to be quite favorable, with such excellent examples like Wojciech Jachna/Jacek Buhl, Artur Majewski/Kuba Suchar and others. Trumpeter/composer Tomasz Dąbrowski already has one trumpet/drums album under his arm, recorded with the American drummer Tyshawn Sorey and now he joins the brilliant drummer/composer Bartłomiej Oleś in a new trumpet/drums duo, captured on this album.

Bartłomiej Oleś is of course known to all Polish Jazz connoisseurs as half of the Oleś Brothers rhythm section, which in time achieved a legendary status as one of the best modern Jazz rhythm sections around, but this album focuses on his work as composer. Of the ten pieces presented on this album, Oles composed eight, and co-composed one with Dąbrowski, with the remaining piece, which closes the set, being a Thelonious Monk composition.

In comparison to the trumpet/drums albums listed in the opening paragraph, this recording is definitely the most lyrical and deeply melodic of them all. Oleś demonstrated his lyricism and love of melody over the years in the numerous compositions he contributed to the vast Oleś Brothers recorded legacy. Additionally, his treatment of the drums as a melodic instrument has always been his particular trademark, as he almost never simply sets a rhythm but rather plays the drums in par with his musical partners in various ensembles. The intimacy of just two instruments is an ideal opportunity to place these compositional and performance qualities at the center of the listener's attention.

Dąbrowski, whose meteoric rise to fame is fully justified, seems to be an ideal partner aiding Oleś to achieve his goals. His virtuosic attack, combined with the intrinsic lyricism, turn his trumpet into a seemingly unlimited tool able to express an enormously diverse set of emotions, from whisper to shout, anger to joy, despair to mellow melancholy. Playing side by side with Oleś, who is of course more experienced and mature, pushed Dąbrowski really hard to reach and than cross his limits, which resulted in the best performance of his life so far. Oleś managed to catalyze and crystallize Dąbrowski's unique style and mannerism, molding them into a perfect musical entity.

There is so much music on this album that a true comprehension and appreciation of it requires several listening sessions even for the most experienced music lovers. Peeling off the layers of aesthetic and emotional essence captured herein by these two Masters is a delightful and rewarding experience. There is no doubt that this is a monumental achievement in every sense and a model of lofty, almost spiritual communication between an Artist and his audience.

Personally I have a deep satisfaction from the fact that I have always considered these two musicians as representatives of what is best about Polish Culture in general and Polish Jazz in particular: honesty, consistency and a proper usage of a God given talent. Thank you both for such a wonderful gift!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Jachna/Buhl - Synthomathic (2015)

Jachna/Buhl

Wojciech Jachna - trumpet, flugelhorn, electronics
Jacek Buhl - drums, percussion
guest: DJ Yaki (3,5)

Synthomathic

Requiem 87/2015



By Piotr Wojdat

Trębacz Wojciech Jachna oraz perkusista Jacek Buhl idą za ciosem, wydając drugą płytę w barwach wytwórni Requiem Records. To zarazem ich piąty krążek w szybko rozrastającej się dyskografii, która charakteryzuje się w miarę równym, wysokim poziomem artystycznym. Zeszłoroczne wydawnictwo zatytułowane "Atropina" stało pod znakiem minimalizmu. Na ten fakt wpłynęło nie tylko oszczędne instrumentarium (jak zawsze w przypadku tego duetu), ale też sposób rejestracji wspomnianego dzieła. Gwoli kronikarskiej powinności przypomnijmy, że płyta została zarejestrowana na strychu Biblioteki Miejskiej w Bydgoszczy przy pomocy 4-śladowego Tascama, co znacząco wpłynęło na jej surowe brzmienie.

"Synthomathic" przy pierwszym odsłuchu nie odsłania odmiennego konceptu na kolejny album Jachny i Buhla. Obcujemy z muzyką opartą na treściwych dialogach trąbki i perkusji, których paletę barw i odcieni poszerza umiejętnie stosowana elektronika. Dominuje melancholijna atmosfera, a zarysy melodii stają się mniej oczywiste poprzez ukazanie ich w morzu pogłosów i transowych zapętleń.

To, co jednak różni "Synthomathic" od poprzedniczki, to większa dbałość o szczegóły w procesie postprodukcji. Duża w tym zasługa realizatora nagrań - Artura Maćkowiaka. Gdy się dobrze wsłuchać w utwory w rodzaju “Dabi sajko” czy “Drezyna”, można też wychwycić nowe wątki w twórczości bydgoskiego duetu. Opierają się one na bardziej śmiałym eksperymentowaniu z elektroniką, co w wymienionych dwóch przypadkach jest efektem zaproszenia na sesję DJ Yakiego.

Najnowszy album Wojciecha Jachny i Jacka Buhla należy jednak traktować bardziej jako kontynuację obranej ścieżki artystycznej niż poszukiwanie nowych rozwiązań brzmieniowych. Efektem tych zamierzeń jest dojrzałe i zapamiętywalne dzieło, do którego wraca się z dużą przyjemnością.

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

Opowieść

4EVERMUSIC 130


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.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Andrzej Jagodzinski Trio – Muzyka Polska (2011)


Andrzej Jagodziński Trio

Andrzej Jagodziński - piano
Adam Cegielski - bass
Czesław Bartkowski - drums
Grażyna Auguścik - vocals
and others

Muzyka Polska

PRIVATE EDITION


By Adam Baruch

This is a beautiful and very ambitious album by Polish Jazz pianist/composer Andrzej Jagodziński and his trio with bassist Adam Cegielski and drummer Czesław Bartkowski, also involving the great vocalist Grażyna Auguścik and two Classical Music soloists: flautist Jadwiga Kotnowska and harpist Anna Sikorzak-Olek, as well as the AUKSO String Orchestra conducted by Marek Moś. The album presents a seven part Jazz suite for piano trio, voice, string orchestra and soloist, which attempts to "define" what "Polish Music" means in general and especially in the Jazz context as what we understand under the term "Polish Jazz". Five parts of the suite are based on Polish Folk tunes, one is a Krzysztof Komeda composition and one is a tune composed by Marcin Januszkiewicz. Jagodziński and Auguścik arranged the vocal parts and Jagodziński wrote the elaborate piano trio/string orchestra arrangements.

The concept behind this album obviously points towards the conclusion that contemporary Polish Music/Polish Jazz are a synthesis of the Polish Folk tradition with contemporary music forms. The Polish Folk tradition is most obviously identified with the Polish Folklore dances, such as kujawiak, mazurka, oberek and others, but also with the intrinsic Polish melancholy and lyricism, which create its unique characteristics, which are instantly recognizable to a trained ear. Regardless of the concept, this album is first and foremost a true celebration of music, crossing and bridging between Folklore, Jazz and Classical Music and doing it in an impressive, intelligent and truly beautiful way. All the parts and ideas fall together into an amazing amalgam, which is a delightful listening experience.

The album is also a wonderful platform to enjoy the individual contributions by the participating musicians. Auguścik again proves that she has very little competition on the local scene and her wonderful sensitivity and power of expression are simply stunning. Her appearance on this album is somewhat prophetic in the sense that her album "Inspired By Lutosławski", which was recorded four years after this one, would deal with the same subject matter. Jagodziński, who also plays accordion on this album, and his trio cohorts, as well as the soloists and orchestra all perform spotlessly and harmoniously, with obvious dedication and joy of creation.

This is the best album by far that Jagodziński recorded during his splendid career, and one of the best attempts to create a coherent musical concept, dedicated to Polish Music. Personally I'd love to see more such attempts done by other musicians. Discovering one's musical roots and traditions is surely preferable to imitating other cultures. This album is a pure delight from start to finish and I recommend it wholeheartedly to every Polish Jazz fan, as it reveals many of the innermost secrets about what Polish Jazz really means.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Przemek Raminiak Quartet – Locomotive (2015)


Przemek Raminiak Quartet

Przemysław Raminiak - keyboards
Jakub Skowroński - saxophone
Bartosz Kucz - bass
Frank Parker - drums

Locomotive

SOLITON 417


By Adam Baruch

This is the first album by Polish Jazz pianist/composer Przemysław Raminiak, following his departure from the seminal Polish piano trio RGG, of which he was a founding member. The album was recorded in a quartet setting and features also saxophonist Jakub Skowroński, bassist Bartosz Kucz and American drummer Frank Parker. The album presents eight original compositions, seven composed by Raminiak and one co-composed by him with Skowroński.

Musically the album presents a complete about face as far as Raminiak's role with RGG is concerned. No more long, contemplative, lyrical and almost free form ambient explorations, but straightforward melodic mainstream, almost smooth Jazz, energetic, vigorous, funky, groovy and danceable. Although at the first moment this can be quite shocking to some of Raminiak's fans, there is basically nothing wrong with changing one's approach, even dramatically. If Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock can do it, why can't Przemyslaw Raminiak do it as well?

This is very immediate music and yet it has many virtues: the melodies are all first-class, the arrangements are slick and professional and the performances are brilliant in that particular milieu. Raminiak plays acoustic and electric piano and a few synthesizers, always with flair and spotless technique, which of course is not surprising. Skowronski is a big surprise with his smooth phrasing and superb melodiousness. The rhythm section plays pretty solid background timekeeping stuff, with beautiful fretless bass playing a few nice solos and drums staying respectfully in the background, as appropriate for this setting. In short this whole thing works like a dream, delivering pleasant, nontrivial and highly satisfactory music, which is a lot of fun to listen to.

Of course Raminiak will be accused of "selling out" and playing rubbish by Polish "music critics", but honestly most of them secretly enjoy this music very much and are simply embarrassed to admit it. As far as fellow musicians are concerned most of them wish they could come up with an album like this one themselves. So here it comes again people: this is a great album for what it is, straightforward uncomplicated good music. We can't eat the same food all the time and we can't listen to the same music all the time – this is definitely a nice alternative, mostly for those who know it all.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Ocean Fanfare - Imagine Sound Imagine Silence (2015)

Ocean Fanfare

Tomasz Dąbrowski - trumpet, balkan horn
Sven Meinild - alto & tenor saxophones
Richard Andersson - double bass
Tyshawn Sorey - drums

Imagine Sound Imagine Silence

BFREC040

By Mateusz Magierowski

Gdyby rok 2015 skończył się po pierwszym swoim kwartale, Tomasz Dąbrowski byłby niewątpliwie nie tylko w moim prywatnym podsumowaniu murowanym kandydatem do tytułu polskiego jazzowego muzyka roku. W ciągu ostatnich kilku miesięcy światło dzienne ujrzały bowiem trzy płyty z naprawdę wysokiej jakości muzyką, w której tworzeniu utalentowany trębacz odegrał co najmniej niepoślednią rolę. Rok otworzył nagranym ze swoim polsko-duńskim trio "Radical Moves", by po niedługim czasie móc zaprezentować efekt swojej duetowej współpracy z Bartłomiejem Olesiem w postaci krążka "Chapters".

Trzecia z wzmiankowanych produkcji jest podobnie jak krążek Tom Trio efektem skandynawskich doświadczeń Dąbrowskiego, choć nie tylko. Demokratyczny, pozbawiony samozwańczego lidera kwartet Ocean Fanfare tworzą nie tylko jazzmani podobnie jak Dąbrowski wykształceni w najlepszych skandynawskich konserwatoriach, współpracujący z trębaczem również przy okazji innych polsko-skandynawskich kooperacji - basista Richard Andersson i saksofonista Sven Dam Meinild. Składu kwartetu dopełnia bowiem sam Tyshawn Sorey, z którym Dąbrowski nagrał świetną duetową płytę "Steps", wydaną przez rodzimą wytwórnię For Tune. 

Bagaż wspólnego grania przekłada się w tym wypadku dość jednoznacznie na jakość nagranej przez niecodzienny kwartet muzyki. Autorzy wszystkich nagranych na płycie kompozycji - Dąbrowski i Meinild - pośrednio nawiązując do najlepszych tradycji tak polskiego, jak i skandynawskiego jazzu swoim niekiedy elegijnym i melancholijnym, innym razem agresywnym brzmieniem konsekwentnie kreują specyficzny klimat nagrania, nie popadając jednocześnie w nużącą słuchacza monotonię. Na "Imagine Sound Imagine Silence" między nasycone dźwiękowo, intensywne dialogi ("7 Days To Go") i ascetyczne solowe peregrynacje ("Meditation"), wplecione zostały bowiem - chociażby za sprawą promującego płytę "4 Is 2 Tight" - wpadające w ucho melodyjne akcenty. Świetnie, zwłaszcza w improwizowanych, zbliżonych do estetyki free fragmentach kolektywnych interakcji, sprawdza się sekcja Sorey-Andersson, skoncentrowana przede wszystkim na dbałości o rytmiczne rusztowanie całości i wykonująca to zadanie zgoła mistrzowsko. Warsztatem i dynamiką zachwyca zwłaszcza Sorey, który niczym akcelerator cząstkom elementarnym dodaje impetu zespołowej narracji gęstą pulsacją werbli. 

Można by w tym miejscu jeszcze długo rozwodzić się nad indywidualnymi popisami każdego z członków kwartetu. Tym jednak, co ujmuje najbardziej, jest ich umiejętność harmonijnej współpracy w tworzeniu własnego, intrygującego zespołowego brzmienia. Może to imponować zwłaszcza w obliczu faktu, że Ocean Fanfare to raczej zespół zebrany na potrzeby konkretnego nagrania, niż koncertujący intensywnie working band. Po odsłuchu "Imagine Sound Imagine Silence" nie mam wątpliwości, że wypada sobie życzyć, by polsko-skandynawsko-amerykański kwartet takim working bandem się stał.

Mariusz Bogdanowicz – Confiteor Song (2001)

Mariusz Bogdanowicz

Zbigniew Namysłowski - saxophone
Adam Wendt - saxophone
Brandon Furman - guitar
Andrzej Jagodziński - accordion
Krzysztof Herdzin - piano
Mariusz Bogdanowicz - bass
Piotr Biskupski - drums

Confiteor Song

CONFITEOR 002

By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album as a leader on his own record label by Polish bassist/composer Mariusz Bogdanowicz, recorded with a formidable team of Polish Jazz musicians, which includes saxophonists Zbigniew Namysłowski and Adam Wendt, US born guitarist Brandon Furman, accordionist Andrzej Jagodziński, pianist Krzysztof Herdzin and drummer Piotr Biskupski. The album presents eight original compositions by Bogdanowicz and one arrangement of a folk tune.

Considering the level of the musicians involved there are no surprises here; the performances by all the participants are spotless, professional and truly excellent. The young Herdzin, who was a member of the ensemble led by Namysłowski at the time, plays some great piano lines. It is very interesting to hear Namysłowski play music he did not compose; his performances here are truly inspired. Furman plays beautiful guitar lines, full of lyricism and technically brilliant guitar tricks. Jagodziński, who normally plays piano of course, adds some nice accordion touches. Wendt adds also some fiery saxophone solos and finally Biskupski on drums plays solidly and respectfully alongside Bogdanowicz, who plays several beautiful bass solos, creating together a perfect mainstream Jazz rhythm section.

But the focus of this album is of course on the superb tunes composed by the leader. Melodic and gorgeously lyrical, these compositions are all sensual and intelligent, serving as perfect vehicles for the musicians to spread their wings. These tunes are all as good as any Jazz standard and deserve to be listened to repeatedly.

Overall this is a perfect mainstream Jazz album, which combines great music with perfect and inspired execution, a model for all excellent Jazz album ever created, becoming an instant classic Polish Jazz album in all respects.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Grit Ensemble – Komeda Deconstructed (2015)

Grit Ensemble

Kacper Grzanka - trumpet
Maciej Sokołowski - saxophone
Krzysztof Dys - piano
Piotr Rakowski - vibraphone
Piotr Scholz - guitar
Patryk Piłasiewicz - bass
Andrzej Konieczny - drums

Komeda Deconstructed


RECART 0015

By Adam Baruch

This is a debut album by young Polish Jazz septet called Grit Ensemble, led by bassist Patryk Piłasiewicz, with trumpeter Kacper Grzanka, saxophonist Maciej Sokołowski, pianist Krzysztof Dys (Jakub Królikowski on one track), vibraphonist Piotr Rakowski, guitarist Piotr Scholz and drummer Andrzej Konieczny. As the title suggests, the music played on this album was composed entirely by the Godfather of Polish Jazz, pianist/composer Krzysztof Komeda and includes compositions which were originally written as film scores, Komeda's most famous contribution to Polish Culture, beyond the strict Jazz milieu. The album presents nine tracks, seven of which are the ensemble's interpretations of Komeda's compositions and the additional two are remixes of two of the tracks.

Any attempt to deal with Komeda's music is a priori a perilous enterprise for numerous reasons, the most obvious one being that it has been attempted previously on hundreds of albums by thousands of Polish and foreign musicians, including the best ones out there. Therefore being original and saying something innovative about the music of Komeda is almost impossible today and works only in truly exceptional cases. When combined with a pretentious album title like in this case, the album is controversial, at least to me, before listening to even one note of its music.

Sadly listening to the music justified my reservations, at least to some degree. I think I am familiar with the term "deconstruction" in the musical sense, and honestly there is not a trace of that process in the music presented on this album. In fact in most cases the original melody is stated quite straightforwardly without even much improvisation and the following free form passages seem hardly related to the themes, definitely not being deconstructions, not to mention the remixes, which simply make no sense to me at all. Nevertheless the music presented on this album has its merits and is definitely worth listening to; it simply does not fulfill what is promised on the album's cover.

Of course the musicians involved in this project are all excellent performers, and do altogether a splendid job. Dys, who is one of the most impressive upcoming performers on the local scene, demonstrates his exceptional abilities all along, with the rest of the crew following suit. Perhaps taking on Komeda's music was simply "a bridge too far" in this case? It takes a certain maturity, life's experience and perspective to handle such lofty tasks.

I imagine that the same ensemble playing original compositions by its members might be able to produce a very impressive result, as there is certainly a lot of talent and passion involved. Therefore I do look forward to hear more musical projects by this ensemble in the future.

Andrzej Jagodzinski Trio – Chopin Les Brillantes (2010)

Andrzej Jagodziński Trio

Andrzej Jagodziński - piano
Adam Cegielski - bass
Czesław Bartkowski - drums

Chopin Les Brillantes

PRIVATE EDITION




By Adam Baruch

This is the fifth album dedicated to Jazz interpretations of the music composed by the great Polish composer Frederic Chopin recorded by Polish Jazz pianist/composer Andrzej Jagodziński and his trio with bassist Adam Cegielski and drummer Czesław Bartkowski. This double album is a fact a new recording of the same material that is featured on the trio's first two albums recorded fifteen years earlier, re-captured from a retrospective view and enriched by years of common experiences and joy of playing this music together.

When Jagodzinski first recorded Chopin's music twenty years ago he was pioneering a trend, which in time swept the Polish Jazz scene like a tsunami, with literally hundreds of albums with Chopin's music reinterpreted in the Jazz milieu. These attempts to follow a trend and jump on a bandwagon, which varied in quality form important and innovative to completely redundant and often preposterous, eventually had an adverse effect on the Polish Jazz fans, who had just about enough of Jazzy Chopin being showed down their throats.

Even if the original recording of Chopin's music by Jagodziński and his trio were not perfect and lacked the practice, they were bold, innovative and fresh. Sadly the repeated attempt, although richer and with better arrangements, lacks the original qualities and therefore is in some respect not such a great idea. Of course Jagodziński and his cohorts are superb musicians and do a wonderful job playing on this album, but sticking to the original recordings is by and large preferable and sounds like a good idea. On the other hand since the original Polonia releases are not easily available, perhaps this album can fill the gap.

Overall there is plenty of great music herein, as well as excellent playing by these legendary veterans and in case you don't own the original recordings this one is definitely worth checking out.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Nahorny Trio – Dolce Far Niente …I Nic Wiecej (2002)

Nahorny Trio

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

Dolce Far Niente …I Nic Więcej

CONFITEOR 003


By Adam Baruch

This is a wonderful album by veteran Polish Jazz pianist/saxophonist/composer Włodzimierz Nahorny, recorded in a classic piano trio format with bassist Mariusz Bogdanowicz and drummer Piotr Biskupski. The album features twelve relatively short pieces, ten of which are original Nahorny's compositions, one is a folk song and the last is an arrangement of works by Polish Classical composers Frederic Chopin and Karol Kurpinski.

In addition to his Jazz activities Nahorny is also acknowledged for writing many popular songs, which became in time Polish evergreens. This album presents many of these songs in an instrumental version with Jazzy arrangements, performed affectionately and passionately by the composer and his cohorts. Nahorny's music is always full of typical Polish lyricism and melancholy, which come to light even in the seemingly happier, up tempo numbers. He loves the waltz and Polish folkloristic dances, all of those elements which are the cornerstones of what is considered Polish music, and he openly and lovingly embraces them in his compositions.

The way Nahorny plays the piano is completely unique; a mixture or Classical, Jazz and Blues strokes combined into one stylistic approach, which is specifically his and his only. Although distinctly melodic and seemingly simple, his piano often wanders away from the main melodic line into less charted territory, which more experienced listener will find fascinating and those less experienced won't mind or even notice.

The rhythm section sounds like an extension of the leader, following his every move elegantly and attentively. A few modest but excellent bass and drums solos are part of the proceedings, but the main role of the rhythm section remains, as appropriate, to accompany the leader, which it does with flair and zest.

This is timeless music, which remains classic regardless of what the contemporary trends may bring. Superb sonic quality ensures a complete listening pleasure and what remains is to relax and enjoy every moment of this delightful delivery.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mateusz Pałka/Szymon Mika Quartet – Popyt (2015)

Mateusz Pałka/Szymon Mika Quartet

Mateusz Pałka - piano
Szymon Mika - guitar
Alan Wykpisz - double bass
Grzegorz Masłowski - drums

Popyt

SJ 011


By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by the young Polish Jazz quartet co led by pianist Mateusz Pałka and guitarist Szymon Mika, with bassist Alan Wykpisz and drummer Grzegorz Masłowski. It presents six original compositions, four by Palka and two by Mika, and one standard.

Stylistically the quartet seems to continue the mainstream Jazz tradition, which crystallized in America in the 1960s and was captured on classic Jazz recordings by labels like Blue Note and numerous others. The album's ambience and overall sound character is very similar to what was created in that milieu at that period of time and automatically brings on waves of nostalgia. The excellent original compositions, all very melodic, clearly structured and swinging rhythmically are ideally suited for creating that kind musical environment. Personally I think that a more free approach, which the ensemble utilizes on the last track on the album, should be a pointer to their future path, especially in view of how well they manage to handle it here.

The individual performances are all superbly executed, way beyond what one might expect form such young musicians, but in today's reality that fact is almost universally true; musicians mature faster and reach their peak as performers much earlier in their careers. The quartet works very well as a unit surprisingly because these four young musicians are so different from each other. Pałka is obviously the instigator of many ideas and wishes to say as much as possible in a given time frame, whereas Mika is an island of tranquility and a king of "cool", playing exactly what is needed at a given moment, with obvious flair and beautiful "old fashioned" tone, which sounds simply marvelous. Wykpisz is a brilliant bassist, with incredible feel for time and melody, and keeps the entire ensemble in check, which allows Masłowski to be all over the place and fill the blanks (or rather intervals) with his pulsating ornamentations.

This is definitely a solid and promising debut album by musicians who are surely going places on the Polish Jazz scene and beyond in years to come. Well done indeed!

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Radek Wośko - Contouring - premiera 25.05.2015

Radek Wośko

Kasper Tranberg - trumpet, cornet
Marek Kądziela - guitar
Radek Wośko - drums

Contouring

MPJ 015



By Tomasz Łuczak


Jest coś bardzo charakterystycznego w specyfice podejścia do materii muzycznej Polaków kształcących swój warsztat w Danii. Nie wiem, czy uprawniona może być już teraz sugestia, że ten polski, coraz szerszy zaciąg to zjawisko w prostej linii przekładające się na absolutnie nową jakość w rodzimym jazzie (a może tylko odświeżające pewną koncepcję), niemniej ilość naszych rodaków, którzy podejmują naukę w Odense czy Kopenhadze, pozwala ze spokojem patrzeć w przyszłość w kontekście ich wyborów artystycznych. Tomasz Dąbrowski, Artur Tuźnik, Tomasz Licak, Anna Rybacka, Sebastian Zawadzki, a ostatnio świetni Grzegorz Tarwid czy Albert Karch to już teraz osobowości, które idealnie wpisują się w ideę kreatywnej, nieschematycznej, opartej przede wszystkim na wielkiej otwartości polskiej muzyki improwizowanej.

Są w tej grupie również Radek Wośko i Marek Kądziela, współtworzący wraz z trębaczem Kasperem Tranbergiem album „Contouring”. Pomysłodawca projektu i autor większości kompozycji Radek Wośko – niezwykle twórczy perkusista, lider m.in. kwartetu Entropy i współlider grupy Tomasz Licak/Radek Wośko Quartet – postawił na współpracę z jednym z najbardziej poszukujących polskich gitarzystów, któremu bliska jest idea podobnie dobranego składu (zespół Hunger Pangs prowadzony wspólnie z Tomkiem Dąbrowskim i Kasperem Tomem Christiansenem). Razem z Tranbergiem, guru duńskiej trąbki, stworzyli niezwykle klimatyczny, momentami subtelny i przewrotnie nastrojowy amalgamat przeróżnych muzycznych znaczeń. Coś, co mógłbym określić mianem niepokojąco kreatywnej ekspresji, zupełnie autonomicznej, nieszablonowej, zyskującej z każdym kolejnym odsłuchem. Na bazie bardzo precyzyjnej, rytmicznej podstawy Radka powstał swoisty dźwiękowy system naczyń połączonych, gdzie momentami dyskretny, minimalistyczny ton Tranberga spotyka się z gitarowym, intensywnym eksperymentem Kądzieli. Całość pomyślana jako niezwykle spójny obraz improwizowanego świata trzech świadomych muzyków.

Odnoszenie propozycji muzycznej Radka Wośko tylko i wyłącznie do tzw. „sceny polskiej” byłoby dużym nietaktem. Warto pamiętać, że to niekoniecznie konkretnie ukierunkowane działanie przekraczające granice, ale raczej autorska wypowiedź poszerzająca definicję, na którą trzeba spojrzeć szerzej, jak na idealnie skrojoną na miarę ideę europejskiej muzyki improwizowanej.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Art Of Improvisation 2015


Art Of Improvisation Creative Festival to kameralny projekt poświęcony sztuce improwizowanej (głównie muzyce), podkreślający jej różnorodność, a przede wszystkim otwartość na zmianę i eksperymenty. Projekt poszerzony także o działania performerskie, taneczne i teatralne, oparte o improwizację. Festiwal prezentuje zarówno uznanych artystów (z Polski i z zagranicy), jak i promuje młodych, rozwijających się twórców, stwarzając im przestrzeń do spotkań. Najważniejszy punkt programu tworzą koncerty i performance mistrzów gatunku, przegląd i konkurs młodych improwizatorów KREACJE, jam session, projekcje filmowe oraz wydarzenia towarzyszące w postaci warsztatów improwizacyjnych prowadzonych przez doświadczonych i uznanych artystów. 

Nadchodząca edycja AOI będzie wydarzeniem wyjątkowym w skali dotychczasowych działań. Ideą AOI 2015 będzie jeszcze większe otwarcie się na różnorodność nurtów w muzyce improwizowanej, odchodząc od dominacji free jazzu i free improv. Nie odcinając się od w/w stylistyk, program festiwalu zostanie wzbogacony o elementy muzyki folkowej, eksperymentalnej, post rockowej i awangardowej w światowej klasy wydaniu. Program dopełni również improwizowany performance muzyczno-taneczny.

Gośćmi tegorocznej edycji festiwalu będą m. in.: uznany brytyjski saksofonista John Butcher w trio z australijskim perkusistą Tonym Buckiem znanym m. in. z zespołu The Necks, oraz berlińską pianistką Magdą Mayas; Mikołaj Trzaska IRCHA CLARINET QUARTET z Wacławem Zimplem, Pawłem Szamburskim i Michałem Górczyńskim; austriackie eksperymentalne trio Trapist w składzie: Martin Brandlmayer i Martin Siewert (muzycy Radian) oraz Christian Weber, międzynarodowy muzyczno-taneczny kwartet Help Me To Crash, międzynarodowe trio wybitnego amerykańskiego perkusisty Michaela Zeranga z saksofonistą Tobiasem Deliusem i kontrabasistą Ksawerym Wójcińskim. Czeka nas także koncert zeszłorocznych laureatów Kreacji/Zderzeń – Sławka Pezdy i Thomasa Kolarczyka w trio z perkusistą Kubą Janickim.

PROGRAM FESTIWALU

19 czerwca, piątek

KREACJE/PRZEGLĄD / wstęp wolny
HELP ME TO CRASH / performance / koncert 
MICHAEL ZERANG/TOBIAS DELIUS/KSAWERY WÓJCIŃSKI / koncert
JAM SESSION /wstęp wolny

20 czerwca, sobota

HELP ME TO CRASH: MAŁGORZATA HADUCH/ARVIND GANGA/MARIA MAVRIDOU/ ONNO GOVAERT - warsztaty improwizacyjne dla tancerzy i muzyków
KREACJE/ZDERZENIA / wstęp wolny
SŁAWEK PEZDA/THOMAS KOLARCZYK/KUBA JANICKI / koncert
TRAPIST / koncert
JAM SESSION / wstęp wolny

21 czerwca, niedziela

MICHAEL ZERANG MASTERCLASS / warsztaty improwizacyjne
PROJEKCJA FILMU
MIKOŁAJ TRZASKA IRCHA CLARINET QUARTET / koncert
JOHN BUTCHER/TONY BUCK/MAGDA MAYAS / koncert

Karnety: 50 zł (przedsprzedaż)

Friday, May 8, 2015

Various Artists – Polish Radio Jazz Archives Vol.20 (2015)

Various Artists

Tomasz Stańko - trumpet
Andrzej Trzaskowski - piano
Janusz Muniak - saxophone
and others

Polish Radio Jazz Archives Vol.20

POLSKIE RADIO 1872


By Adam Baruch

This is the twentieth installment in the new series of releases initiated by the Polish Radio, which presents archive Jazz recordings. Radio recordings are always a fabulous source of remarkable material, and as far as Polish Jazz history is concerned, the Polish Radio, which was a state monopoly for 45 years, recorded over time a plethora of invaluable material, which apart from the albums released by the Polskie Nagrania record company (also a state monopoly), is the only available additional source of Polish Jazz recordings. For many years Polish Radio recorded concerts presented during Poland's most important Jazz venues, including the annual Jazz Jamboree Festival and many other festivals as well.

The ten tracks collected here were recorded during the seventh Jazz Jamboree Festival, which took place between October 24 and 26 1964 in Warsaw. The music was performed by four different ensembles, which are: a quartet led by the German brothers Rolf Kuhn on clarinet and Joachim Kuhn on piano with Polish rhythm section consisting of bassists Tadeusz Wójcik or Julian Sandecki and drummer Andrzej Dąbrowski (four tracks), a trio led by Hungarian bass virtuoso Aladar Pege with Polish pianist Wojciech Karolak and drummer Andrzej Dąbrowski (also four tracks), a quintet led by Polish pianist/composer Andrzej Trzaskowski with trumpeter Tomasz Stańko, saxophonist Janusz Muniak, bassist Jacek Ostaszewski and drummer Adam Jędrzejowski (one track only) and finally a trio led by Dutch pianist Pim Jacobs with his brother Ruud Jacobs on bass and guitarist Wim Overgaauw (also one track only).

Most of the music consists of standards and the only original material is one piece by Rolf Kuhn and the only track by the Trzaskowski quintet, which was composed by Stańko and which is absolutely the best and most interesting track on this album.

The beautifully restored sound quality is excellent and the warm ambience of the analog recording is a true joy. As usual with this series, which is very reasonably priced, I miss the presence of "in depth" liner notes/booklet, which should convey the circumstances at which this music was recorded and its importance to the development of Jazz in Poland. Nevertheless this is an absolutely essential piece of Jazz history which every Jazz fan will surely consider an absolute must.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Herdzin/Bogdanowicz/Biskupski - Seriale Seriale (1998)

Herdzin / Bogdanowicz / Biskupski

Krzysztof Herdzin - piano
Mariusz Bogdanowicz - bass
Piotr Biskupski - drums

Seriale Seriale

Confiteor 001



By Adam Baruch

This is the third album by Polish Jazz pianist / composer Krzysztof Herdzin, this time co-leading a piano trio with bassist Mariusz Bogdanowicz and drummer Piotr Biskupski, accompanied by a string sextet. It presents the musical themes of eight Polish TV serials arranged by Herdzin and composed by various Polish composers, among then two with very strong Jazz ties: Andrzej Kurylewicz and Jerzy Matuszkiewicz, who contribute two compositions each. 

The music is all very solid and is also a wonderful example of the fact that music for TV productions can be intelligent and wonderfully crafted, as this album demonstrates and emphasizes. The overall atmosphere of the piano trio accompanied by strings obviously tends to sound somewhat corny and commercial, but careful listening reveals that the level of performances is highly professional and the result is anything but trivial. 

Herdzin, who was a member of the ensemble led by Zbigniew Namyslowski at the time of the recording of this album, was already recognized as one of the brightest upcoming Polish Jazz musicians and his talent and ability are obvious. The string arrangements reveal Herdzin´s respect and love of Classical music, which will, in later stages of his career, come to the forefront of his activities. The rhythm section, which already at that time had a long tradition of playing together, is a perfectly oiled and masterfully synchronized team, which in the years to come will prove to be one of the best of its kind on the Polish Jazz scene. 

Although very accessible, this is still a great mainstream piano trio album, which sounds as good today as it did at the time of its recording and can be enjoyed both by Jazz enthusiast and listeners who do not listen to Jazz on a regular basis. Definitely worth looking for and being discovered now, almost twenty years later.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Sphere - trasa promująca album "Synesthesia"


Serdecznie zapraszamy na koncerty grupy Sphere promujące znakomity album "Synesthesia", który ukazał się niedawno nakładem wytwórni Hevhetia. 

22.05.2015 - Dni Darłowa, godz 20.00, Jazz Club Bagatella, Darłowo ul. Powstańców Warszawskich 65 

24.05.2015 - Łódź, Węzeł. Duszpasterstwo Akademickie, ul. Doktora Stefana Kopcińskiego 1/3, 90-242 Łódź 

27.05.2015 - Pałac Szustra, Warszawa ul. Morskie Oko 2, Warszawa 

Sphere to projekt wielokrotnie nagradzanych muzyków Nowej Sceny, silnie związanych z duńskim środowiskiem muzycznym. Trzy instrumenty: klarnet (Kuba Dybżyński), wokal (Ania Rybacka) i gitara (Marek Kądziela) – tworzą razem nietypowe brzmienie, w którym słychać zarówno skandynawską otwartość względem eksperymentu, jak i polską piękną tradycję. Kompozycje zespołu stanowią mieszankę jazzu i ogólnie pojętej muzyki improwizowanej z elementami klasyki i folku, które tworzą razem muzyczny spektakl pełen emocjonalnych uniesień i prowokującego wyobraźnię muzycznego liryzmu.


Ania Rybacka - muzyk, psycholog, trener wokalny,kompozytor. Laureatka międzynarodowych konkursów jazzowych, m.in. Lady Summertime (Finlandia, 2009), Nardis Jazz Vokal Yarismasi (Turcja 2009), Voicingers (2009), czy Jazz Krokus Festiwal (2008, Polska). Stypendystka Ministerstwa Kultury i Dziecictwa Narodowego oraz Karen & Arthur Feldthusen Foundation. W ostatnich latach występowała m.in. z Danish Radio Big Band, Chórami Cantilena i Fynsk Fuga, Orkiestrą Symfoniczną Odense, zespołami Blueberry i Ania Rybacka Quintet.


Marek Kądziela - gitarzysta jazzowy, kompozytor. Absolwent Carl Nielsen Academy of Music Odense w Danii. Zwycięzca licznych konkursów, m.in. Nocy Blusowej w Rawie Mazowieckiej w 2000 r., czy konkursu gitarzystów jazzowych Guitar City w 2007 r. Uhonorowany nagrodą dla największej osobowości muzycznej „Bielskiej Zadymki Jazzowej”, a także szwajcarsko - duńskim stypendium "Foundation Idella". Współzałożyciel i kompozytor muzyki International Jazz Quintet Off-Quar-Tet, zespołu Hunger Pangs oraz Kran.


Kuba Dybżyński - klarnecista i kompozytor; absolwent Wydziału Jazzu im. Henryka Majewskiego w Warszawie, oraz Carl Nielsen Academy of Music w Danii. Uczestnik wielu jazzowych warsztatów w Polsce jak i za granicą pod kierunkiem takich muzykow jak Brad Mehldau, Jeff Ballard, Rudi Mahall czy Tony Mallaby. Kompozytor muzyki do spektakli teatralnych Akademii Teatralnej w Warszawie i Szkoły Filmowej im. Machulskich. Założyciel Ephemeric Quintet.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Olga Boczar Music Essence – Little Inspirations (2014)

Olga Boczar Music Essence

Olga Boczar - vocals
Jan Smoczynski - piano
Wojciech Pulcyn - bass
Paweł Dobrowolski - drums

and others

Little Inspirations

PRIVATE EDITION

By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album as a leader by Polish vocalist/flautist/songwriter Olga Boczar, recorded with her ensemble called Music Essence, with core members: keyboardist Jan Smoczynski, guitarist Andrzej Gondek, bassist Wojciech Pulcyn and drummer Paweł Dobrowolski. In addition several other musicians also participate on selected tracks, including bassist Krzysztof Pacan, saxophonist Radek Nowicki, trumpeter Dominik Gawroński, trombonist Michał Tomaszczyk and several background vocalists; altogether quite a formidable team. The album presents ten original songs all composed by Boczar and with lyrics mostly written by her as well. Only two of the songs feature lyrics in Polish and eight have English lyrics. The music was recorded in three different studios, including the Studio Tokarnia where Smoczynski also served as the sound engineer recording the rhythms section tracks.

In spite of the fact that the album features some very prominent Polish Jazz musicians, it is by no means a Jazz album. Except for a few piano solos, the album presents a singer/songwriter Pop/Rock effort with slight Jazzy accents mostly present in some of the arrangements. There is of course nothing wrong with that, but promoting and marketing this album under a Jazz moniker is a conceptual mistake.

The music is a collection of mostly low key melancholic melodies, which all sound a bit similar and leave no lasting impression. Everything is "nice" and "smooth", but there is no excitement, zest or attempt hit the listener between his eyes. Boczar's voice and delivery don't help much either, as she has a limited range and sings in the same narrow spectrum using repeatedly the same mannerisms, regardless of the text she is singing. Except for a few vocalese attempts, the rest is rather unexciting. And on top of this all these there is the problem with lyrics in English, which sound pretty inappropriate. In contrast, plainly audible, the two songs sung in Polish sound infinitely better.

The instrumental work is all quite all right, but again lacks any spark. The arrangements are all rather trivial, and the potential of such mighty team of musicians seems completely wasted. Except for the already mentioned piano solos, there is no attempt to put some excitement into this music. Overall this is all professionally done, but sadly completely uninspired.

This album has a potential on the Polish Pop market, if promoted properly. It might even win a Fryderyk award next year, as anything can happen there, but hopefully not in the Jazz category. And before an outcry of angry responses accusing me of ruining young people's careers erupts again, let me emphasize that this is just my private, subjective opinion, which has absolutely no bearing on anybody's fate.

Babadag – Babadag (2012)

Babadag

Ola Bilińska - vocals
Maciej Cieślak - guitar
Szymon Tarkowski - bass
Hubert Zemler - drums

Babadag

LADO ABC B/18



By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by Polish ensemble Babadag, a quartet fronted by vocalist/lyricist/composer Ola Bilińska with guitarist Maciej Cieślak, bassist Szymon Tarkowski and drummer Hubert Zemler. The quartet members play a plethora of instruments among themselves and a few guest musicians also appear on selected tracks. The album presents ten original songs, all written and composed by Bilinska, nine of which have lyrics in English and one in Polish.

The music is immediately strikingly as highly original, and therefore difficult to be easily categorized. The atmosphere is mostly somewhere in the neighborhood of Progressive Folk-Rock, but with instrumental work that borders on the Avant Progressive with touches of Jazzy influences. Although focused on Bilińska's vocal explorations, this is obviously a team effort, as this highly emotional and complex music involves close cooperation between the Artists than usually found in such efforts.

Bilińska displays extraordinary talent both as a composer of atmospheric, expressive and fully developed highly original compositions and as a unique performer. Although she sings lyrics, her delivery is more instrumental than text oriented and she uses a very diverse palette of vocal approaches. I usually detest Polish vocalists singing in English, but in this context the theatrical and artistic delivery of the vocals hide the "improper" accent and pronunciation to such extent, that it is completely acceptable.

The other musicians involved in this project display their respective abilities as multi-instrumentalists, playing many exotic and unusual sounds, always perfectly matching the music. The arrangements of the material are credited to the entire ensemble, and rightly so, as this is obviously a result of close cooperation and common goal, as already mentioned above.

As far as I know this album received very little exposure so far, which is not surprising considering how original, different and artistic it is. Perhaps the fact that it floats somewhere between the straightforward genre definitions has something to do with it. Also the fact that it was released on a small independent Polish label, Lado ABC, associated with the Polish avant garde scene, did not help to gain popularity. Nevertheless the album definitely does deserve exposure, as it is a solid piece of heartwarming music, searching, exploring and aesthetically pleasing, not to mention being a superb debut effort.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Lora Szafran – Spiewnik Nahornego (2003)

Lora Szafran

Lora Szafran - vocals
Włodzimierz Nahorny - piano
Mariusz Bogdanowicz - bass
Piotr Biskupski - drums

Spiewnik Nahornego

CONFITEOR 004



By Adam Baruch

Polish Jazz vocalist Lora Szafran is active on the local scene since the mid 1980s, when she graduated from the Katowice Music Academy. She sings Jazz but is also active on the mainstream Polish popular music market. This is her sixth album as a leader and it is dedicated to songs composed by the legendary Polish Jazz pianist/saxophonist/composer Włodzimierz Nahorny, who is also known as the author of popular evergreens. The album includes twelve songs composed by Nahorny, with lyrics (in Polish) by some of top Polish lyricists. Szafran is accompanied by a trio which includes Nahorny on piano with bassist Mariusz Bogdanowicz and drummer Piotr Biskupski and a string sextet, with string arrangements by Andrzej Jagodziński and Krzysztof Herdzin.

The album is kept in the classic mainstream Jazz tradition, performed spotlessly and with flair by all participants. Nahorny's music is timeless and remains fresh and beautiful in complete disregard of passing fads and fashions. His compositions are as good as any American standards. The intelligent lyrics are a painful remainder that song's lyrics are supposed to tell a story in an intelligent way, as they do here in complete contrast to today's monstrosities called songs.

Szafran sings perfectly and superbly, with her charming mannerisms and vocal tricks, which she manages to use as effectively as always. She is able to pronounce every word clearly and accurately, with feeling and obvious sentiment to the context, an art that seems to be lost completely these days. Her warm and round voice and professional finesse are irresistible. The interplay between her and the trio is always impeccable, which turns the entire recording into a musical love affair. Nahorny and the rhythm section are of course a living example of knights in shining armor.

This is an "old fashioned" album, but in spite of that often misused classification it sounds fresh and alive in spite of its delicacy, fragility and sophistication. I must be old fashioned myself, as this stuff simply melts my heart.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...