Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wojtek Mazolewski – Wojtek W Czechoslowacji (2011)

Wojtek Mazolewski Quintet (band)

Joanna Duda – keyboard
Marek Pospieszalski – saxophone
Michał Bryndal – drums
Oscar Torok – trumpet
Wojtek Mazolewski – double bass

Wojtek w Czechosłowacji (2011)

This is the 2nd album by the Polish Jazz quintet led by bassist / composer Wojtek Mazolewski, who is a well known figure on the local scene way beyond the Jazz circles, mostly as a member of several Rock groups and later a founding member of the top Polish group Pink Freud. The quintet includes Slovak trumpeter Oscar Torok, saxophonist Marek Pospieszalski, pianist Joanna Duda and drummer Michal Bryndal, all excellent and very sensitive players. The music was mostly composed or co-composed by Mazolewski, with four tracks credited to the entire ensemble and one track composed by the pianist. One additional track was contributed by Polish DJ Maceo Wyro, who participates in the recording with his electronic effects and another one is by famous Jamaican reggae artist Max Romeo. 

In contrast to the quintet’s previous album (“Smells Like Tape Spirit”) this one is quite confusing. The confusion starts right with the album’s title (the Czechoslovak connection being a mystery) and continues throughout the album’s content, which includes several re-makes of compositions already present on the last album and new compositions, which are stylistically quite remote from earlier material. Of course the album has its moments and such high-class musicians can definitely play well, but the overall disorder, lack of direction or aesthetic unity makes it more difficult to enjoy. Of course it’s entirely possible that Mazolewski knows exactly what he’s doing and it’s only me missing the point? Investigate at your own risk!

Author: Adam Baruch

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