Sunday, July 1, 2018

Wojciech Jachna & Ksawery Wójciński – Conversation With Space (2018)

Wojciech Jachna & Ksawery Wójciński

Wojciech Jachna - trumpet, flugelhorn
Ksawery Wójciński - double bass
Tomasz Glazik - tenor saxophone

Conversation With Space

FSR 2018/04

By Adam Baruch

This is the second duo album by Polish Jazz duo: trumpeter/composer Wojciech Jachna and bassist/composer Ksawery Wójciński. Saxophonist Tomasz Glazik guests on one track. The album was recorded in two Warsaw locations (Ladom/Mózg) associated with Free Jazz/Improvised Music and presents eleven original compositions co-credited to the duo members and one traditional tune arranged by the duo members.

Some people following the Polish avant-garde music scene might be quite surprised by the music presented on this album, since it is overall remarkably melodic and tame, and as such accessible to a wide scope of Jazz listeners. The short pieces, averaging about three minutes each, are based on a clear melodic line and the improvisations are kept within the scope of the basic melody, both harmonically and rhythmically. The traditional/religious hymn is perhaps the most surprising piece of the entire album and a brilliantly executed amalgam of improvisation and medieval music.

Both musicians display tremendous skills and imagination, which is evident every step of the way. Jachna continuously develops his trumpet chops and watching his progress over the last two decades was an uplifting experience. Wójciński is able to create a cascade of sounds from his bass and his plucking technique is ferocious. But even more important than their individual abilities is their cooperation, which fully belongs in the "Art of the Duo" idiom. Despite the limitations imposed by just two instruments in action, this music is complete and full and needs nothing to make it better. The trio on the single track where the saxophone is added is also excellent, but definitely not superior to the rest of the tracks.

Overall this is a beautiful example of highly spirited Improvised Music at its best, which should make all connoisseurs of the genre perfectly happy. Hopefully listeners from other spheres of interest will also take a while and listen, as this music is definitely too good to be ignored. The Polish FSR label continues to document the Polish/European Improvising Music scene with dedication and passion, for which it and the people running it deserve our gratitude and praise. Wholeheartedly recommended!

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