Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Wojciech Gogolewski Trio – Medytacje Wiejskiego Listonosza Jazzowego (2015)

Wojciech Gogolewski Trio

Wojciech Gogolewski - piano
Paweł Pańta - bass
Adam Lewandowski - drums, cajon

Medytacje Wiejskiego Listonosza Jazzowego

SRMT 2015

By Adam Baruch

This is an album by Polish Jazz piano trio led by veteran pianist/composer Wojciech Gogolewski, with bassist Paweł Pańta and drummer Adam Lewandowski. As the album's title suggests, at least to those familiar with the Polish music scene, this album is dedicated to the music by the legendary Polish Rock group Skaldowie and pays tribute to their extraordinary talents. The album presents ten songs Skaldowie created during their heyday, all composed by Andrzej Zieliński (one of the two Zieliński brothers who led the group) and arranged for Jazz trio by Gogolewski.

It is of course completely impossible for someone like me, who grew up listening to the music of Skaldowie, to be in any way objective while listening to this album, and indeed I don't intend to be objective at all. This is a marvelous piece of music in every respect, even without the tsunami of nostalgia, which floods my brain while listening to it, since it perfectly holds water just by being what it really is, i.e. an excellent piano trio album playing some superbly crafted music, beautifully recorded and perfectly executed.

Of course the music of Zieliński presents some of the most incredibly weaved melodies on this planet, full of "impossible" chord changes and weird harmonies, tempi shifts and other musicological mumble-jumble, which most people have absolutely no idea about, but which simply work wonders and create some of the most beautiful songs ever written, which made our childhood and then adolescence so incredibly beautiful. Comparing Skaldowie to the Beatles would have been mostly unfair to the Polish group, as they were light-years ahead musically. The fact that their music transfers so gracefully into the Jazz idiom is a great proof of its quality, whereas most Jazz arrangements of Beatles songs never really rise above pastiche.

I am pretty sure this album should be universally appealing to every Jazz connoisseur around, even those who can't find Poland on the map. This music is simply universal and its elegance and typical European sophistication is irresistible. I can only wholeheartedly thank the people involved in creating this masterpiece for the immense pleasure it has bestowed upon me. Perhaps some listeners, happy with what they find here, will reach out for the original Skaldowie albums, where this music originates from, to take another step on the path of exploration. Bless you all!

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