Saturday, March 5, 2011

Wojtek Mazolewski Quintet - Smells Like Tape Spirit (2011)

Wojtek Mazolewski, bass player, is frequent guest on my blog. I reviewed his "Monster of Jazz" (2010) and "Alchemia" (2008) recorded with excellent Pink Freud band plus "Freeyo" (2009) recorded in trio with Gos and Wojtczak. All these albums (and other not mentioned here) are simply very, very good and point to very important feature of Mazolewski's play: whether he flirts with avantgarde, mainstream, free jazz or ventures into rock or even pop territory he maintains this same uniquely his own voice. Always daring, creative and self-ironic, he is brilliant wherever he chooses to turn his attention. He is one of few, VERY few, musicians whose musical language appeal to both lovers of free and avantgarde music niche and can simultaneously be voted to be played on Polish most popular and famous chart (44th position on hit list by Trójka). 

One of the explanations of the success of many Mazolewski projects is his ability to pick up right musicians who are not only among best in the country but more importantly share his artistic visions, his attitude toward art, his Boheme way of life (or better to say: image ;-). This time he is accompanied by Michał Bryndal on drums, and rhythm section they created is key to success of this album. It's trance-like, broken and angled line is simply breathtaking, among the most forward thinking and original in Polish music. These two rhythm wizards are often joined by excellent piano play by Joanna Duda and two expressive brass players: Marek Pospieszalski on saxophon and Oscar Torok (from Slovakia) on trumpet.  
Many years ago Mazolewski was deeply involved in yass revolution in Poland and he has maintained this experimental attitude over the years, his Quintet being kind of test vehicle, for his ever-changing musical ideas. He recorded first album in this format in 2007 (issued 1 year later) with completely different staff and comprising totally different music. There is no continuity altogether although there is clearly development. So let me in the end ask this question: where Mazolewski is steering with this record?

In my opinion this record shows he is maturing quickly leaving behind himself all yass lack of seriousness, order, respect for tradition which was sometimes honestly speaking a nuisance for adult listener. Already excellent "Alchemia" album (2008) marked his evolution toward play as much creative as focused on quality, on beauty of sound which together with special kind of recording procedure used in this session (using tape and without many rehearsals) gave music rarely met spatiality, density and featherweightednes. Hopefully Mazolewski will stay on this track in future as well...

You can easily buy this album in mp3 format for less 4 Euro now at following page: "Smells Like Tape Spirit".     

Author of text: Maciej Nowotny

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