Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Merry Jazzy Christmas 2014 AD

There's no denying it - the blog has been very neglected recently - I'm definitely putting it on my New Year's resolution list.

'Tis the season for giving and forgiving so I hope you'll forgive me If dust off and give you three merry little playlists for the occasion.

May you have the very best Christmas and The Happiest New Year. With a lot of jazz and stuff. 

Yours truly

Jazz Alchemist

(some of the tracks may appear more than once although I remember trying to avoid it)


Sunday, December 7, 2014

Krakow Concert Schedule 08-14.12

The festival-packed weekend is over, it is a fool's hope though to get any rest before Christmas time. No special events, no festivals but Krakow is still up to the task of feeling your evenings with good live music this week.
The latter half of the week will satisfy abundantly indie-rock audience who should check the 11.12 date in Alchemia, Piekny Pies and Kolanko, while those less rock-oriented listeners (me included) can follow the competition for the most inspired rock band name (The Gentle Art Of Cooking People steals the 1st prize in my opinion).

08-09.11 Kołakowski : Wykpisz : Korelus at Piec'ART
The piano trio will explore how the music theory of Arnold Schonberg works in improvised context. Will the band be able to close the gap between classical music and jazz?



Sunday, November 30, 2014

Krakow Concert Schedule 01-07.12

The last week announcement of the end of festival season was premature. Before we all give to up to the pre-Christmas frenzy we have a week ahead of us that is packed full with concerts and 3(!) festivals. There are some very difficult choices to be made.

The festivals are:
15th Silent Movie Festival - check here for the full program
Re:Source fetival dedicated to avant-electronica
38th Jazz Juniors - the festival includes few heroes of jazz history as well as presents the talents of young band

Given the amount of events I'll be as coincise as possible with the selection below. make sure to check the whole program of the festivals.

02.12 Gogol Bordello at Rotunda
for something completely different, a gypsy-punk band that is bound to rock the night.

04.12 SzaZa at Kino Pod Baranami plays "Berlin : Symphony of Great City" (Silent Movie Festival)
SzaZa is a resourcefull duo to play clarinet, violin and all sorts of percussion, toy instruments and electronics - the music they play can be equally haunting as humorous.


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Krakow Concert Schedule 24-30.11

It will be difficult to adjust to post-festival reality. Tonight's the last concert of the Krakow's Autumn Jazz and I hope to see you all there. Festival or not though, there's is some music around the next week as well, especially if someone would like to get some rest from jazz related events. The first and the last items on the list are the two musts of the week the way I see it.

24.11 Emiter at Galeria i!
Emiter is a electronic-music magician, one of the most important figures of polish minimal electronica, an artist who finds beauty and melody and rhythm in white noise and cracklings. His solo performances are most highly recommeded.



24.11 Arms And Sleepers at Alchemia
Max Lewis and Mirza Ramic has founded the group in 2006 and they've playing music ever since, the sound is a reminiscent of trip-hop classics and this sounds like a good vibe for a nice chillout evening session.


The Architekt animation from QB Media on Vimeo.

25.11 Hugo Race at Alchemia
Hugo Race was one of the foundind members of the Bad Seeds. And his solo recordings confirm the roots - poetic, moody and dark songwriting, low timbre of voice and melancholic guitar.



26-27.11 Matuesz Kołakowski / Krzysztof Gradziuk at Piec'ART
Mateusz Kołakowski a few years had made a big entrance on polish jazz scene - a teenager only, has participated in a few quite prestigious international compositions playing both classical (Chopin or Bethoven's concertos) and jazz. Krzysztof Gradziuk is definitely among the top jazz drummers in the country, most famous for his work with RGG trio. It might be a very interesting meeting to see.


28.11 Raphael Roginski plays Zion Golam at Cheder Cafe
Roginski was always at the foreground of polish modern jewish music. In fact only few years the term would be basically synonym to his name. The repertoire for the concert will be the music of the Yemenite composer Zion Golam. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Krakow Concert Schedule 17-23.11

The final week of the Krakow Autumn Jazz Festival will fill the week completely. Prepare to make Alchemia the 2nd home for the next few evenings.
PS. Polish readers can check www.jazzarium.pl where I covered some concerts that were part of the festival as well as Wrocawl's Jazztopad concert with Wadada Leo Smith Golden Quartet.

(edit : I admit I forgot to include in the list two events outside of the Krakow Autumn Jazz Festival - there are two concerts Klub Re that are definitely attention worthy although It's a tough luck that the dates coincide with the Alchemia concerts)

17.11 Prophetic Fall - Strycharski / Wojcinski / Szpura in Alchemia
Part of the 3-nights polish scene presentation during the festival. Dominik Strycharski is trying to carve some space in free jazz music for his flute arsenal. Wojcinski and Szpura make probably the strongest rhythm unit on polish stages.



18.11 Ogoya Nengo & The Dodo Women's Group at Klub RE
Ogoya Nengo and her group will bring to Krakow the root music of Kenya. Her name in the local dialect means "Precious" and the music should fulfill the promise thus given. Voice, rhythm music that is hundreds years old and on the verge of extinction.
(The concert will be followed by two post-punk groups The Kurws and UZS)




18.11 Slawek Pezda & Mateusz Gaweda duo at Alchemia
I'm extremely happy this Krakow duo will get a chance to present thesmelves on the same stage and the same evening with the main project of this year Krakow Autumn Jazz. It's high time Krakow's audience get better acquianted with the two names, both musicians being very active on local jazz club scene.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Krakow Concert Schedule 9-16.11

Festival fiesta has begun with a mighty programs in Wroclaw, Tri-City and Bielsko-Biała. But those staying in or coming to Krakow should have they evenings filled with good music as well. Krakow Autumn Jazz Festival continues, the fans of the more experimental and conceptual audio-video art should look closer at the Audio Art Festival programming.

9/10.11 Värt att veta om herr K. at Piec'ART
I've enlisted this duo in the last week schedule but a second mention is in place as the double nights closes the week and launches the new one. The complicated name stands for Karl Hjalmar Nyberg on saxophones and Andreas Skår Winther on drums. Improvising sax-drums duo from Norway? Count me in.



11.11 SamBar + Javier Cremona at Piękny Pies
SamBar is a baritone sax duo with Tomek Gadecki and Paulina Owczarek, they will be joined on stage by Javier Cremona. This is bound the sub-sound version of the clash of the titans.



Monday, November 3, 2014

Krakow Concert Schedule 03-9.11

The Thing & DKV started jazz November, one needs to gather considerable strength reserve before the festival marathon starts (around 12.11). Still that doesn't mean to neglect the weekly concert schedule.

3/4.11 Prucnal / Parker / Parker Trio at Piec'ART
Bartlomiej Prucnal is easily one of the more promising young sax players in Poland working in the mainstream idiom of jazz but not shy of jumping through the fence once in a while. Mike Parker and Frank Parker (no blood relation) should make a fine rhythm section to back him for this sax trio session.
Below a band featuring Prucnal led by Mike Parker.


9/10.11 Värt att veta om herr K. at Piec'ART
The complicated name stands for Karl Hjalmar Nyberg on saxophones and Andreas Skår Winther on drums. Improvising sax-drums duo from Norway? Count me in.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Krakow Concert Schedule 27.10-02.11

November begins and we all know what it means - pumpkin pies, horror movies and jazz festivals in Poland. There is "stuff" happening in Poznan, Bielsko-Biala, Wroclaw, Tri-city, Silesia and last but not least Krakow. And the concert on November the 1st should nail it. The free freak fans need to wait patiently for Saturday, while the more moderate jazz listeners have their fair share of worthwile mainstream gigs as well.

28.10 VEIN at Piec'ART
An austrian ensemble, very convincing in trying to continue and develop the fine tradition of piano trio, you can find a short review of two of their releases as well as an interview with Michael Arbenz who plays the piano. VEIN's journey through jazz history (from ragtime to modern post-bop) is definitely a pleasure to join.



Monday, October 20, 2014

Krakow Concert Schedule 20-26.10

While we're awaiting impiatiently for November to kick off with The Thing & DKV there is no shortage of good concerts in Krakow. Ve have improv, electro, garage rock, funky, ethno and stuff for the week.

20.10. Institute of Intuition with Yedo Gibson & Vasco Trilla at Galeria i!
Two improv artists from Spain will perform with the Institute and, the day after, with its guitar player Michal Dymny. (Note all galeria i! concerts start at 7pm)


20.10 Rimbaud - Budzynski / Trzaska / Jaceszek at Alchemia (Conrad Festival).
A kind of unusual meeting between the world of free jazz, modern electronica and poetic rock.



20-21.10 Princessleatrio at Piec Art
I'm telling you Scandinavian scene is booming, another young freely melodic group that sounds really intriguing.

 

Monday, October 13, 2014

Krakow Concert Schedule 13-19.10

With yesterday's concert by Ab Baars and Zlatko Kaucic (a strong performance I might add) we hit a brief pause in the Krakow Jazz Autumn program (we reboot with DKV + The Thing double trio night on 1.11).
Strangely enough though, the following week is on the busiest in a while with a plenty of interesting music to offer.

13-19.10 Unsound Festival 2014 - The Dream. Unsound is an international festival, with most focus on modern electronic music. I'm unfamiliar with many names, but this is one of the festival that puts a quality stamp of approval anytime an artist has a spot on a list. Lovers of the improvisation will find their share on the program.

13.10 Collective at Piec'ART
I've already wrote about the group last week. A quartet with stellar players - Piotr Damasiewicz, Michal Gorczynski, Ksawery Wojcinski and Wieland Moller.

13.10 Ircha Clarinet Quartet with Remont Pomp at Manghha (Unsound Festival)
Remont Pomp is an unique percussion ensemble, Trzaska's been collaborating with them for a while now and he's bringing the Clarinet Quartet for the Unsound Festival and it will be initeresting to see them depict the festival's theme - The Dream.



14.10 Hanna Paulsberg Concept at Piec'ART
Piec'ART is somehow a venue to bring a lot of talent coming from Scandinavia to Krakow. Most of those band had not yet a name for themselves but I'm posivite many will. Scandinavia's youth jazz is bringing many positive surprises and Hanna Paulsber might be one of them.



Thursday, October 2, 2014

A double double bass recommendation for the next few days in Krakow - Marcin Oles and Joelle Leandre

A very quick update and a last minute suggestion. All who don't feel too under the weather should get up and check Piec'ART for Marcin Oles solo concert.

02.10 Marcin Oles - Basso-Nova at Piec'ART
The bass half of a rhythm section that had a huge impact on the beginnings of modern polish free jazz scene. Marcin Oles has a beautiful sound and a is an artist of clear vision. Catch it if you still can. Concerts in Piec start only at 9.30 PM so you still have a chance.


Marcin OLES - bassoNOVA from Marcin Oles on Vimeo.

05.10 Joelle Leandre at Alchemia (Krakow Autumn Jazz Festival)
No introduction needed I hope. Among the most incredible visionaries of double bass, both in improvised and composed music (designated performer of pieces by John Cage or Giacinto Scelsi). One is usually cautious when it comes to a double bass recital and they're not that common but to  have a chance to see two in the distance of few days is great. I daresay this is the most important night of the whole Atumn Festival.




BTW. Polish readers may check Jazzarium for a note about the first two concerts of the festival.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Jazz Alchemist is back for the Krakow Autumn Jazz Festival and more

It's been a long vacation from the blog. I've bitten and heavily by the vinyl bug and recently all the free time I can get is spend with the (occasionally crackling) sound of the dark matter circling on the turntable.
I can't get enough of Duke Ellington's Orchestra, of the round and warm sounds of Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, of the trumpet high flyers Roy Eldridge, Charlie Shavers, Dizzy. Heck I even loved me some classic fusion. Add to that Ray Charles, some classic rock (polish band SBB and Niemen!) polish jazz series (Stanko, Komeda, Namyslowski!). It's not any news, but I love music.

I'm planning on restoring more regular activity although possibly a formula will change a bit (no details yet to specify). For the nearest future the main topic will be yet another edition of Krakow Autumn Jazz Festival - probably the only polish festival so clearly dedicated to the avant/free/improvised face of modern jazz.

I'll get to the whole schedule soon but for now you need to know that the festival is starting this Sunday with an open-air concert of The EX and Brass Unbound.

I didn't get to cover any of the recent big events in Krakow (particularly Sacrum Profanum festival) but bear in mind also another musical series that start today - Festival of Film Music will propose to you orchestra performance of the music from Gladiator, scores from video-games and much more.

The more avant-guarde projects of the festival are AlterFMF series in Malopolska Art Garden among which:

25.09. Europa Train Score
a multimedia performance with a large group of musicians among which well known jazzmen Adam Pieronczy, Marcin Oles, krakow-based improviser Michal Dymny, improvising rock-drummer Jakub Rutkowski and many more.

27.09 Trzaska plays Smarzowski 
Mikolaj Trzaska needs no introduction to this blog's readers - he'll perform the music he composed to Wojtek Smarzowski - but make no mistake, these are no background melodies but compositions filled with guts.



27.09 Also of interest and more on the ambitious electronica side is a Saturday One Louder mini-fest with Thaw, Stara Rzeka (Old River), X-Navi:ET amd Artur Rominski at Alchemia


28.09 The EX & Brass Unbound on Plac Nowy (KRAKOW AUTUMN JAZZ BEGINS)
An exciting ensemble The EX with the energetic horn section of the best of the best in screaming jazz Mats Gustafsson, Ken Vandermark and Roy Paci. A smash evening guranteed.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Krakow Concert Schedule 18-24.08

I've been recently bitten by the vinyl bug again and in these weeks of absence on the blog I've been listening abundantly to the greats of swing & bop era, the wonderful sounds of Johnny Hodges, Ben Webster, Lester Young, Coleman Hawkins, Charlie Shavers, Howard McGhee, Roy Eldridge, Art Tatum, Duke Ellington and many more.
I'll try to recover and get back to more recent releases soon. In the meantime, Krakow can provide you with some quality live music as always.

18.08 Gaweda / Fortuna Experiment at Piec'ART
Piano/drums duo is definitely not the most common of duo settings but one that can produce brilliant music (from the top of my head two completely different examples - Cecil Taylor / Max Roach and Danilo Rea / Stefano Gatto). Given that Gaweda and Fortuna are the top class of jazz youth in Cracow I think their experiment can give good results.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Elisha / Rubin / Elisha - East of Jaffa [OutNowRecordings]

Ehran Elisha - drums
Harold Rubin - clarinet
Haim Elisha - piano


OutNow Recordings 2011





The 24th Krakow Jewish Festival, barely behind us*, is a perfect pretext to have a look at Israeli improvising scene. OutNow Recordings is based in Tel Aviw and managed by Yoni Kretzmer (a might sax player himself, you may find reviews of his cds "Overlook"  and the Brooklyn based 2 Bass Quartet's "Weight" on the blog) and guitarist Ido Bukelman (with a couple of fine releases on his own as well). However when the label was launched back in 2011 the premiere releases were two sessions with the drummer Ehran Elisha. I've written a while ago about his duo with Roy Campbell "Watching Cartoons with Eddie" but the trio "East of Jaffa" is well worth a look back.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Kraków Concert Schedule 11-17.08 / DotArt in Krakow

There are two concerts that stand out among the regular jam/jazz sessions on jazz clubs this week so without further ado:

11.08 Slawek Pezda / Mateusz Gaweda Duo at Piec'ART
An adventurous duo tha travels throughout the lands of modern jazz with free spirit. Very recommended.



15.08 Janusz Muniak Quartet at Harris Piano Jazz Bar
Once among the avantguardists of polish jazz scene, Janusz Muniak is now a legend that feels comfortable with the world of sultry, classic jazz. The tone and feeling and maestry.



Beside jazz music I recommend to you to visit a few places where my hombre Stefano Ambroset will bring a selection of pictures from the international photo competition DotART. The exhibitio will open:

10.06 Pracownia Pod Baranami
12.06 Alchemia
13.06 Pierwszy Lokal...
14.06 Betel Cafe
15.06 Konfederacka 4