Sunday, February 17, 2019

Maciej Fortuna – Iłła (2018)

Maciej Fortuna

Maciej Fortuna - trumpet
Kamila Salach - vocals
Dominik Mąkosa - piano
Roman Chraniuk - bass
Jakub Miarczyński - drums


FM 024

By Adam Baruch

This is an album by Polish Jazz trumpeter/composer Maciej Fortuna recorded in a quintet setting with vocalist Kamila Salach, pianist Dominik Mąkosa, bassist Roman Chraniuk and drummer Jakub Miarczyński. It is a Jazz & Poetry project presenting eleven songs, all composed by Fortuna, based on poems by the Polish poetess Kazimiera Iłłakowiczówna (Iłła in short), one of the most celebrated literary figures in Poland's interwar period, associated with the city of Poznan.

Fortuna managed to create very unique musical attire to these expressive and often almost psychedelic poems, which are full of powerful metaphors, daunting imagery and macabre atmosphere. His piercing trumpet solos lead the way for the instrumental soundtrack, while Salach delivers the lyrics in a highly theatric, rather than typical vocal expressionism.

Although clearly kept in a Jazz framework, these songs are first and foremost conceptually designed to emphasize the storyline of the poems. As a result, the music is somewhat detached from the Jazz idiom, but remains ideally suited for the Jazz & Poetry setting. All four instrumentalists perform the music with dedication and flair, exactly as the composer intended. The rhythm section delivers a strong, almost Rocky pulse, the piano represents the lyrical elements and the superb trumpet parts are a component of the actual storytelling, wordless but no less expressive.

Overall this is another excellent example of Polish Jazz & Poetry project, which is full of great music embracing poetry. Polish Jazz seems to be enamored in this specific genre, and consistently produces superb examples of cross-Art-form marriages. Fortuna consistently continues to build up his position as one of the leading figures on the Polish Jazz scene, constantly surprising Jazz connoisseurs with his new creations. Highly recommended!

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