Monday, October 21, 2013

Magnolia Acoustic Quartet – Boozer (2013)

Szymon Nidzworski - tenor & soprano saxophones
Kuba Sokołowski - piano
Mateusz Dobosz - double bass
Patryk Dobosz - drums
Tomasz Dabrowski - trumpet
Maciej Obara - alto saxophone


By Adam Baruch

This is a (formal) debut album by Polish Jazz ensemble Magnolia Acoustic Quartet, which comprises of saxophonist Szymon Nidzworski, pianist Kuba Sokolowski, bassist Mateusz Dobosz and drummer Patryk Dobosz. The album presents a live recording of an extended lineup of the ensemble, which adds two slightly older and better known Polish Jazz musicians: trumpeter Tomasz Dabrowski and saxophonist Maciej Obara. The music includes seven pieces, six of which are originals (three by Sokolowski, two by Obara and one by Dabrowski) and one is by the contemporary Polish Classical Music composer Witold Lutoslawski.

The music played by these incredible musicians covers the areas of modern European Jazz, Avant Garde and Free Jazz, firmly embracing the past and clearly pointing out the future. Based on pre-composed themes, the group's music develops into lengthy collective and individual improvisations, which are achieved through mutual respect and collaboration, but also reflect the incredible individual talents. The overall effect is simply stunning and the fact that this music is created by such young musicians is simply unreal. The ensemble portrays the ideal balance between the soloists and the rhythm section. The pair of the Dobosz Brothers is quite likely to become the new brotherly Polish rhythm section following in the steps of the legendary Oles Brothers.

Quite naturally the most impressive solo spots are reserved for the two guests, especially Dabrowski, whose contributions here are simply stellar and again clearly point out his path to stardom and his position as the future top Polish Jazz trumpet player. One of the most exciting moments of this album is the trumpet / drums duet, which is simply divine, and which should come as no surprise in view of the fact that Dabrowski recorded an entire trumpet / drums album recently with American drummer Tyshawn Sorey, also released on the For Tune label.

Considering the fact that this music was recorded live, which eliminates any studio trickery and results in "what was played is what you hear", all that was stated above is even more impressive. After listening to the album several times the music keeps getting better and better and Magnolia Acoustic Quartet simply emerges as one of the best new arrivals on the Polish Jazz scene in the last few years.

This album presents the young Polish Jazz scene at its best: vigorous, daring, original, inventive and hellishly talented. These are the musicians that will lead the scene in decades to come, when the older generation retires or sadly is no longer with us. Judging by this album and many others that pop up recently like mushrooms after rain, we have absolutely nothing to worry about the shape of things to come!

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