Saturday, January 14, 2012

Maciej Trifonidis - Roots (Slowdownrecords, 2011)

Maciej Trifonidis - soprano & tenor saxophone,flute, recorder, clarinet, guitar, percussions

Tadeusz Czechak - oud
Mikołaj Wielecki -- congas, bongos, percussions
Robert Siwak - bendir, daf, riq, darbuka, cajon
Maciej Mustafa Giżejewski - doholla, darbuka, bendir, tar aissawi, tarija, karkaba, oddech
Jacek Mazurkiewicz - bass
Wojtek Sobura - drums

Roots (Slowdownrecords, 2011)

Maciej Trifonidis is a man of utmost energy, dedication, passion as much as musician as spiritus movens behind his recording label slowndownrecords and other projects. And this record is a testimony to such a trait of him: primal, organic, animal spirit that must rest somewhere deep within his personality. Brought up in Trypolis, Libya he goes back in this album to sounds and moods of his childhood but not in typical for Polish musicians artificial way but as if this African and Oriental notes were his own, were language his soul is speaking. Half-Polish, half-Greek he is in unique position to bring this mad music in its whole authenticity to our musical landscape. Certainly such attempts were already present in Polish Jazz, most famous of all being Stańko "Music From Taj Mahal And Carla Caves", but apart from this and handful of other albums, Polish music seems separated from what Trifonidis justly sees as roots of jazz: that is rhythm, whether African or Oriental, it is rhythm which since jazz came on the scene at the beginning of XXth century, has brought whole new dimension to European music.

I would very much like that Trifonidis go full throttle in this direction. He already managed to gather around himself this handful of musicians in Poland who share with him love towards that kind of music: Tadeusz Czechak, Mikołaj Wielecki, Rober Siwak, Maciej 'Mustafa' Giżejewski, Jacek Mazurkiewicz, Wojciech Sobura, all as much able as players as compassionate to Trifonidis ideas about music. He himself plays on this album on soprano&tenor saxophones, flute, recorder, clarinet, guitar, percussions and his style reminds very much that of great Pharoah Sanders and is outward, coarse, emotional.

Trifonidis is prolific, he has already released something like 10 albums, he treats these albums more like notes on a blog than definite and complete messages. But perhaps time has come for him to think about changing this formula. Because though I appreciate his albums released up to date I would be in difficult position if asked to show one who reflects the most his personality and style. With this recording it's different: it's original, it merges well both ethnic and hard rock roots of music all so important to him, and saturates them with what impression jazz music left on him in recent years. This direction has awesome potential and I would appreciate if Trifonidis somehow managed to continue on this track in years to come... 

Author: Maciej Nowotny

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