Monday, January 26, 2015

Jachna/Tarwid/Karch – Sundial (2014)


Wojciech Jachna - trumpet
Grzegorz Tarwid - piano
Albert Karch - drums



By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by Polish Jazz trio fronted by trumpeter/composer Wojciech Jachna with two very young newcomers to the scene, pianist Grzegorz Tarwid and drummer Albert Karch. The album presents seven original compositions, one of which is repeated twice and another three times, producing ten tracks all together. The music includes individually composed pieces, others which are co-composed by Jachna and Tarwid and still others co-composed by all three members of the trio.

In the last decade Jachna has been slowly, but firmly establishing his position as one of the top Polish Jazz trumpet players. His work with the Sing Sing Penelope ensemble and his duets with drummer Jacek Buhl belong to some of the most impressive achievements of Polish Jazz during the last decade, which after all is densely populated in the trumpet department. In time he developed a unique voicing on both trumpet and flugelhorn, which for old people like me constantly bring fond reminiscences of the early days of Tomasz Stanko. Jachna is not imitating Stanko nor is he trying consciously to sound like him, but his way of phrasing and the "dirty", coarse tone are simply so characteristic, that the immediate resemblance is unavoidable.

The two youngsters share common music studies in Denmark, where hordes of young and talented Polish Jazz players go to polish their knowledge and chops, but most importantly they evidently share their talents and passion for music. Tarwid, who has been called a musical prodigy after winning several piano competitions at a ridiculous young age, proves that he is no gimmick and his piano work certainly fills the heart with hope for days to come. Karch, who studied with Polish Jazz drumming icon Czesław Bartkowski, is also quite a hot potato, as the music herein firmly confirms.

Together the trio is definitely one of the freshest and most impressive new ensembles on the Polish Jazz scene and this debut emerges as one of the most striking recordings released in Poland this year. Everything that makes Polish Jazz so unique and outstanding is reflected on this album: a search for new ways to express emotions, a complete freedom from conventions, a disregard towards obvious and boring musical methodology and at the same time a deep respect towards the music's profound tradition and aesthetics. As always, the fact that music of such magnitude can be produced by musicians of such remarkably young age is nothing short of astounding.

The true depth of this music can be fully appreciated only if one takes a much broader view of it, beyond the Jazz conventions. It is no less relevant as a component of improvised chamber music, an imaginary ambient soundtrack or any other open minded musical exploration, which is genre free and at the same time cross-genre.

Over the last decade I have invested a lot of emotions and hopes into Jachna's music and it makes me extremely happy that he was able to come up with this culminating work, which was unquestionably worth waiting for. His choice of partners and his persistency finally came into fruition, which should make him and his companions tremendously proud. Chapeau to all the Young Lions!

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