Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Kwartet Wojciecha Gogolewskiego - Skok Nr 8 (2019)

Kwartet Wojciecha Gogolewskiego

Wojciech Gogolewski – electric piano
Mieczysław Wolny – flute
Zbigniew Wegehaupt – bass
Czesław Szymański – drums

Skok Nr 8

GAD 094

This is an archival album, which presents radio recordings by a quartet led by Polish Jazz pianist/composer Wojciech Gogolewski, which also included flautist Mieczysław Wolny, bassist Zbigniew Wegehaupt and drummer Czesław Szymański. The album presents six original compositions, all by the leader, all previously unreleased except for the title track which appeared on a compilation in "live" version.

The music is modern Jazz mainstream, with a touch of Fusion, somewhat similar to the first version of Return To Forever sans the vocals of course. The compositions are all solid and suit the unusual lineup of the quartet perfectly. The balance and the delicate sound created by the electric piano/flute front line results in serene, but beautifully expressive melodic tunes. The superb rhythm section provides the perfect frame for the music with the virtuosic bass lines by Wegehaupt, who despite his young age at the time was already one of the leading Polish Jazz bassists, and the delicate, melodic percussion ornamentation by Szymański.

It is a great pity that this fabulous music had to wait over forty years to be released. Michał Wilczyński, the owner of GAD Records, states on the album´s liner notes that this music deserved to be a part of the legendary "Polish Jazz" series, probably more than some of the albums that managed to be released as part of that series, and I wholeheartedly agree.

This album is also a wonderful tribute to Wegehaupt, who was a dear friend of mine and whose tragic and untimely death was a shock to the entire Polish Jazz community, and is a testimony of his great talent, as clearly audible here. His soli are simply breathtaking. For Polish Jazz fans, flute lovers and European Jazz enthusiasts this album is an absolute must, a true gem finally seeing the light of day. Brilliant stuff!

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