Saturday, September 7, 2019

Marcin Masecki & Jerzy Rogiewicz – Ragtime (2018)

Marcin Masecki & Jerzy Rogiewicz

Marcin Masecki - upright piano
Jerzy Rogiewicz - drums


BMC 256

By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by Polish duo comprising of pianist/composer Marcin Masecki and drummer Jerzy Rogiewicz (both are members of the Jazz Band Młynarski – Masecki). The album presents nine pieces, five of which are original compositions by Masecki, two pieces were composed by Polish popular music composers active between the two World Wars and another two pieces were composed by American composers active at the same period, all four with strong Jewish ties.

As with everything Masecki touches, the obvious becomes anything but obvious and the reference to the Ragtime music is more symbolic and imaginary than what might be expected. The original compositions and the interpretations of the four "standards" are therefore first and foremost Masecki's creations, both on the compositional and the performance platforms.

In the liner notes of the album Masecki states that hearing Ragtime when he was nine years old was what "got him into music originally". That is hardly surprising considering the fact that Ragtime, although considered the root of Jazz, was a composed music, and served as a bridge between European Classical Music and American syncopation, which reflects Masecki's musical duality and floating between genres.

If anybody is after a typical Ragtime music and expects to hear the popular classic Ragtime hits, this album is definitely not something they should consider listening to. If, however, someone is searching for unconventional and highly challenging new music, which takes hints from the stylistic characteristics of Ragtime and brings them a Century forward in time, with the extremely personal treatment that Masecki delivers, this album is a treasure chest of discovery and hidden marvels.

For the many Masecki's fans, this is of course something they will happily sunk their teeth into, without much ado. For others, less familiar with his word (if that is at all possible) this is a window of opportunity to discover a true original talent, who symbolizes individuality and complete disregard of convention with a smile on his face.

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