Saturday, April 16, 2011

Ilia Belorukov, Rafal Mazur, Mieczyslaw Gorka at Bomba (14.04)

The concert was entitled 'Jazz at Bomba vol. 2" and it looks as promising a series as any (first volume would be Mikolaj Trzaska and Rafal Mazur duo I wrote about here).  I had many occassions to see Rafal and Mieczyslaw play together (usually in the Ensemble 56 trio) but I have never heard before of Ilia Belorukov and I was very curious to see him play.
The music of this concert should be placed somewhere in the middle between free jazz and free improv. Rafal plays dark and deep, creating a presence of a black hole kind of gravity, moving freely between abstract plucks and heavy walks on the bass. Mieczyslaw plays melodically, but he's at his best when things get cooking and he can lay down some more solid groove. When this happens he gives the rhythmic structure, Rafal gives the substance to it and Ilia, well, he is the salt and pepper.
He's playing is versatile and sophisticated. Fluent lines but played with the distorted tone, scattered. Absolutely fluent in the art of extended techniques he plays with the ability and sureness that is far beyond his age, and yet with the radical attitude, boldness that is more typical to his age (he's 24 but looks much younger). He dismantles the saxophone and plays without the mouthpiece (whistling duel with Gorka) or utilize just the neck (ghostly, weird and eerie sound). He makes single notes shimmer. The chemistry is apparent, the energy is clear.
There's an apparent surge of great musicians from eastern Europe gaining wider recognition (just check the names on the new Leo Records release) and polish jazz scene is somehow serving as the bridge (Mark
Tokar's case would be a good example). Among those I say to you :Ilia Belorukov is the name to watch. I hope to hear much more from him in the nearest future.

Ilia Belorukov - alto sax
Rafal Mazur - acoustic  bass guitar
Mieczyslaw Gorka - drums, percussion
Klub Bomba; Krakow; 14.04

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