Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Vth Tzadik Poznan Festival day 3 - Meadow Quartet / Waclaw Zimpel-Perry Robinson Quartet

1. Meadow Quartet

Meadow Quartet is young polish group from Gdansk, recently awarded in the acclaimed Polish Radio's Folk Festival - New Tradition. The group explores the worlds of jewish and chamber music.
Mournfull and mysterious moods. Spiced with spontaneity of balkan rhythms, elegancy of a parisian tango, raw passion of a gypsy music. Carefully narrated stories as their music has this cinematic feeling to it (can't help but to think of Yann Tiersenn). Following the steps of famed Cracow Klezmer Band that has several releases on Tzadik label. And that could be very well the most negative comment about this group - it's been done before them, probably better. On the other hand - it shouldn't really stop you from enjoying the music.

Some nice, passionate solos (my special appreciation for Piotr Skowronki on accordion) added even more to the sense of dramaturgy . Not exactly my cup of tea but still a very convincing statement about the folk tradition, if not particularly original.

I invite you to check the bands website where you can find some good-quality samples of their music.

Meadow Quartet:
Marcin Malinowski - clarinet
Michal Piwowarczyk - viola
Piotr Skowronski - accordion
Jaroslaw Stokowski - bass

Courtyard of the Museom of the Archeology. Poznan. 24.07.2011

2. Waclaw Zimpel - Perry Robinson Quartet

Perry Robinson. Photo by Pawel Owczarczyk 
A special project, a band created on the occasion of the festival and a special program - music of the Jews from Yemen. Reconstruction from archival notations of tunes 5000 years old.

Anyone who saw Zerang on stage, a man of a respectable stature, knows he can seem to float over the ground when he starts playing. Light and finesse, so natural, like a heart-beat, and so agile in all kinds of ethnic variety of hypnotic rhythms.
Raphael Roginski's style of guitar playing is unique, his chords providing a rich texture and rhythmic support but it's his sound, so much his own that impacts any group he plays in.
And finally Zimpel and Robinson on the front-line, exchanging passionate if gentle solos, spiralling lines back and forth. Zimpel's becoming a master on his own, Robinson, an elder wiseman among the young ones patiently speaking his words.
Yet the music is so much more than just a sum of descriptable ingredients. Sense of communication, sense of unity and finally sense of complete alienation from the temporal reality - which makes the music thousands years old feel completely universal, above the time reality, so much in-the-moment.
Music that was pure and simple, music that brought peace to the mind and soothed the soul.

For those who hadn't had the chance to be there (as I understand truly how insufficient the above attempt at description is) there's a word of consolation: the concert was registered for a planned release on Multikulti (a selection from the concert and a studio session - a good sign since a couple of missed cues on the theme execution were of no real importance during the concert and could prove much more damaging on the cd).

Waclaw Zimpel - clarinet, tarogato, alto clarinet, fujara
Perry Robinson - clarinet, whistle,
Raphael Roginski - guitar
Michael Zerang - drums, darabuka, frame drum

Courtyard of the Museom of the Archeology. Poznan. 24.07.2011

ps. Since most of the musicians taking part in the festival were present in Poznan for a couple of days before the festival started each night, at least since Wednesday, was an occasion for a jam-session with local musicians (Hera Quartet) joining forces with the visiting Klaus Kugel, Bobby Few, Perry Robinson, Michael Zerang and Raphael Roginski. Some very exciting music played on those long nights (as I was leaving Dragon klub at 3:00 am so I could catch the train back to Krakow I had a strong feeling that the night there was not over). On that note, Perry Robinson might be a 'elder wiseman' of the lot but he can still kick some ... in the jams!

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