Saturday, August 25, 2018

Wojciech Jachna/Zbigniew Chojnacki – JaCho (2017)

Wojciech Jachna/Zbigniew Chojnacki

Wojciech Jachna - trumpet, flugelhorn, electronics
Zbigniew Chojnacki - accordion, electronics

JaCho

YELLOW MELLOW 1


By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by the avant-garde Polish Jazz/Improvised Music duo comprising of trumpeter Wojciech Jachna and accordionist Zbigniew Chojnacki, two of the most interesting musical discoveries in the last two decades on the burgeoning local scene. The album presents seven improvised pieces, not credited on the minimalistic album's artwork, and assumed being co-composed by both musicians, as usual in such circumstances.

Although both players use electronics to enhance and expand the sonic capabilities of their instruments, the music is mostly acoustic, especially as far as the trumpet parts are concerned. As a result this album features Jachna more immediately and practically "naked" than most of his numerous other recordings, which of course is a splendid opportunity to get exposed to his virtuosic abilities. Chojnacki provides more of the ambient background and space layer of this music, soloing less prominently here, but his contributions are as much important for the overall result as are Jachna's.

Intimate dialogues often face the hazard of being too personal to reach a wider audience, but in this case the music created by the duo is completely universal and any open-minded listener should be able to identify with this music, even if it requires undivided attention and some intellectual and emotional effort. The Polish avant-garde Jazz / Improvised Music often excels in its lyricism and harmonic elegance, rather than in dense aggressiveness that characterizes American avant-garde. As a result listening to this music is able to bring the listener to a highly relaxed state of mind, almost a nirvana.

During last year's Singer Jazz Festival (2017) I invited Chojnacki to play a solo accordion concert on the intimate "small scene" of the Kwadrat Theatre. He arrived armed with his accordion, hooked up to a plethora of electronic devices and played an out of this world non-stop concert with the intensity of an interstellar journey. Of the hundred people who arrived for the concert about half left while he was playing, obviously dazed and confused by what they heard, but those who lasted till the end enjoyed a mind-blowing experience. In my closing statement I told the remaining audience that the fact that so many people left is the best possible proof of how superb the music was. Great music is definitely not for everybody and many sublime musicians were exposed to similar experiences at the early stages of their careers, before their fame became more important than their Art.

This album is also not for everybody. It is exquisitely put together by two extraordinary musicians, who already accomplished so much in such a short time and those listeners who are able to comprehend and enjoy their greatness are always gratified and touched. This is a highly recommended album to all true music connoisseurs, who are able to "think out of the box". Brilliant stuff!

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