Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Andrzej Cudzich Quartet - Able To Listen (Polonia Records, 1996)

Andrzej Cudzich Quartet

Andrzej Cudzich – bass
Gary Thomas – saksofon tenorowy
David Kikoski – fortepian
Ronnie Burrage – perkusja

Able To Listen (Polonia Records, 1996)

I have been quite unprepared for this... music that started to flow from my Tannoy speakers was simply top notch! Full of drive, bursting with energy, dancing and singing with perfect rhythms and captivating melodies. I immediately started to ask myself: who did recorded this powerful stuff? The name of the band: Andrzej Cudzich Quartet meant nothing to me. Only when I began to study the personnel as listed on CD cover I began to understand... Gary Thomas on tenor saxophone, David Kikoski on piano and Ronnie Burrage on drumms are all heavyweights from New York who brought to this music this punch I was so stricken by. These guys really know how to swing! But who (to heck!) is Andrzej Cudzich? 

Born in 1960 he was as much bassist as composer educated in Kraków Music Academy. While studying he won second prize at Jazz Nad Odrą Festival and was soon after invited by famous Cracow saxophonist Jerzy Muniak to his band. They cooperated closely from 1979 to 1985 touring extensively in Poland and abroad. Afterwards he also collaborated with Krzysztof Zawadzki with whom he created one of the most significant bands in Polish Jazz in 80ties that is Walk Away and with Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski who employed him in all his projects in those times. No less important were cooperations with Tomasz Szukalski with whom he recorded three albums, with Zbigniew Namysłowski and Jarosław Śmietana.

In 90ties Cudzich eventually felt ready to make recordings in his own name with 'Able To Listen' being his debut. Soon after he created his own group called AmenBand playing church music and purely jazz enterprise called Andrzej Cudzich Quartet featuring such excellent musicians as Joachim Mencel, Adam Pierończyk and Łukasz Żyta. This fast developing career was suddenly interrupted by grave illness which caused Andrzej Cudzich's death in 2003 at the age of 43. Great pity! The only comfort with have in such a heavy loss is that recordings like this secure Cudzich's place in great history of Polish jazz...

Track listing: 1. Don’t Look Back 8,40 2. Able To Listen 9,26 3. West Wind 6,49 4. Waltz 8,20 5. Watch Your Step 9,03 6. Peace 11,34 7. Evidence 4,40

By Maciej Nowotny

1 comment:

  1. Heavy Album! This group introduced me to jazz music when I was 11...still, one of my all time favourite albums..


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