Saturday, April 30, 2011

Keir Neuringer & Rafal Mazur - Jazz at Bomba vol. 3 (28.04)

Jazz at Klub Bomba series continues. 

I've expressed my appreciation of Rafal Mazur's playing a couple of times lately (as he has played in Bomba on the occasion of both previous concerts) so let me just say that he was his usual great - deep sound, blurried lines, focused and attentively listening, never forcing himself on the front, comfortable at providing background that would put the spotlight on his partner, though not afraid to introduce new , surprising suggestions and slighly changing the direction of the music.
The collaboration with Keir Neuringer, once a student in Krakow, started in 1999 and lasted and developed through years, resulting last year in their first cd ("Unison Lines" on Not Two). I thoroughly enjoed the music on the cd so I was looking forward to this evening which was to be the first time I'd see Keir on stage.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Happy Jazzy Easter

I want to wish every reader of this blog Happy and Peaceful Easter, may this time be spent well (family, friends, good food, better music).

1. This Monday instead of a regular live radio program a chosen program from the archive will be played, so I still hope you'll tune in to at 8pm CET.

2. The Easter break is quite short anyway so there will be new reviews soon. 
Also a couple of concerts next week:
On the 27th Jan Malecha Quartet is playing in Alchemia. 
On the 28th Keir Neuringer / Rafal Mazur are playing 3rd volume of Jazz in Bomba series, while Sing Sing Penelope are playing in Klub Re (too bad I can't go two places at the same time). 

Friday, April 22, 2011

something to listen today. Passion in jazz part II. Undivided - The Passion [Multikulti]

I've just read an interesting short article about modern takes on "Passion" musical 'genre' that seemed long-gone until Krzysztof Penderecki brought it up again the middle of the last century. Passion of Jesus Christ became a subject of modern readings that would often omit entirely the religious message and search for more modern and alternatives readings - like "Jesus Christ Superstar", like controversial "Last Temptation of the Christ", but could also go way back before the time of Bach into the contemplative aura of medieval harmonies as in Arvo Part's "Passio".
(polish readers can find the article here, others can use the link to follow the youtube clips it proposes.)
So I thought about writing a short note about two jazz cds that fit well into this subject (both of them were played during the last radio program too).
The Passion
Waclaw Zimpel - bass clarinet, clarinet, tarogat
Bobby Few - piano
Mark Tokar - double bass
Klaus Kugel - drums

Multikulti 2010

This cd got some decent exposure, winning the Happy New Ears poll on well-known Stef's blog. Fact is that it may be one of the most ambitious projects in jazz music for quite a while. Waclaw Zimpel composed "Passion" as a collage of vocal and instrumental themes from the subject's musical history, adding his own parts to it and glueing  and expanding thus created rhetorics with improvisation in an effort to create a musical and universal reflection about pain and sorrow, as described in biblical Passion of the Jesus Christ.

something to listen today...Passion in jazz part I. Piotr Baron - Salve Regina [Celestis]

I've just read an interesting short article about modern takes on "Passion" musical 'genre' that seemed long-gone until Krzysztof Penderecki brought it up again the middle of the last century. Passion of Jesus Christ became a subject of modern readings that would often omit entirely the religious message and search for more modern and alternatives readings - like "Jesus Christ Superstar", like controversial "Last Temptation of the Christ", but could also go way back before the time of Bach into the contemplative aura of medieval harmonies as in Arvo Part's "Passio".
(polish readers can find the article here, others can use the link to follow the youtube clips it proposes.)
I thought about writing a short note about two jazz cds that fit well into this subject (both of them were played durig the last radio program too).

Salve Regina

Piotr Baron - tenor, soprano saxophones
Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith - trumpet
Darek Oleszkiewicz - bass
Marvin Smith - drums
Nolan Shaheed - cornet (last track only)

CelEsTis 2007

Piotr Baron, a prolific sax player, quite respectable figure in polish main jazz scene plays in a post-Coltrane vein (though on the mainstream side of the fence) and was never afraid of admitting, quite proud indeed, his faith and used it quite often as an inspiration (with previous cd "Bogurodzica" containing jazz readings of medieval gregorian choruses being a good example).

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Rempis Percussion Quartet - Montreal Parade [482 Music]

The Rempis Percussion Quartet
Dave Rempis - alto sax, tenor sax, baritone sax
Ingebrigt Haker Flaten - double bass
Tim Daisy - drums
Frank Rosaly - drums

482 Music 2011

I love bands with some sort of expanded rhythm section (two bass players or, like in this case, two drummers) - it makes the music so rhythmically dense and textured. Percussion Quartet led by Dave Rempis is a good example of that as it proved clearly enough on their previous recordings. Obviously the sound of the group is in large part based on the interaction between the two drummers, the second point of departure is that, even as a long time working group, this band does only play improvised music, no compositions whatsoever. After a long and fruitfull run Dave Rempis decided to shake the things up a little bit and changed the lineup of the band with Ingebrigt Haker Flaten taking on the bass spot (after Anton Hatwitch).

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Wolfgang Reisinger, David Boykin Trio, Igor Boxx - III Lublin Jazz Festival day 3

Wolfgang Reisiger Solo
 In the mystic and spiritual aura of a church Wolfgang Reisiger from Vienna played a solo concert on drums - definitely not an easy feat. Starting with rattling noise of shells and theatric gesture he'd invite us to a specific world where rhythm should be melody. Acoustic resonance would be accompanied by electronic enviroment, (sometimes and odd beat, sometimes electronic  sci-fi sounds, sometimes ambient texture) and an electronic drum (which would sound like anything the artist needed it to be, in the most surprising, and to my ears, effective moment - like a piano - interesting to see a drumstick hit the drum and hear a piano key, somehow bends your mind nicely). The attention to detail was commendable, brushes in the air, palms, mallets and so on. But I failed to get the big picture of this solo statement as the music would wander a bit at times. Also it was definitely to long - I can't imagine any solo drum set to be able to attract the undivided attention for a 70+ minutes continous play. Definitely an exaggeration, overachievement and I think it would be a much more succesfull try on the drums recital if cut down by a half.

Wolfgang Reisiger - drums, percussion, laptop
Holy Trininty Church; Lublin; 17.04

David Boykin Trio
The second concert was of the day was David Boykin Trio - a representant of the rich Chicago jazz scene, presented by Wojciech Juszczak (director of the Made in Chicago festival that takes place every year in Poznan). In short it was nice. Strong compositions including post-bop influences, hip-hop, lightly and nicely grooving. David Boykin is versatile on the sax, his playing based in the Coltrane tradition, modal, sometimes venturing to more free ways of saxophone expression. The rhythm section tight and somehow over-conservative I guess, giving the strong platform for the leading instrument but not adding anything extra to the mix, just going through the riffs. I'd love to see them go wilder (as they prove in the final freer moments that they can), I think especially about the drummer whose just lacks dynamic touch, nice and solid, complementing well the sound of the trio, but I'd like something more surprising. 
Two hip-hop songs showcase a flowing stream of worlds (nice rhyming structures although it was too hard for me to follow the lyrics closely) and add a modern, funky aura. But otherwise, while it's all cool and enjoyable, you get the feeling that it was too laid-back also.

David Boykin - tenor sax, rap
Josh Abrams - double bass
Marcus Evans - drums

Warsztaty Kultury; Lublin; 17.04

Igor Boxx
Igor Boxx is a half a of a very succesfull Skalpel duo, electronic masters who with their debut cd would sample classic polish jazz recordings and they are under the wings of prestigious Ninja Tune label. Mazzoll did play a huge part in the revolutionary yass move in the 90s that stirred nicely the stagnated polish jazz scene of the era. So, while not a big fan of electronic music, I still was interested to see this one. But I was hugely dissapointed, loud and fast techno-driven beats, sometimes danceable, usually dull, left me completely indifferent. Almost no solo space for Mazzoll (the one he got was the most interesting moment of the concert by far). Maybe I don't know much about music and this was actually great but not for me. Fact is the only thing that kept me seated were great visualisations - very original, apocalyptic and scary cartoons about World War II.

Igorr Boxx - electronics, turntable
Magierski - laptop, keys
Mazzoll - clarinet, bass clarinet
Vj Spectribe - visuals

Warsztaty Kultury; Lublin; 17.04

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dave Douglas Brass Ecstasy - III Lublin Jazz Festival Day 2 Concert 2 (16.04)

I always loved brass ensemble sound, so joyfull and positively vibrant, festive. Dave Douglas Brass Ecstasy is clearly inspired by Lester Bowie's Brass Fantasy and the first song is indeed dedicated to Lester - "Spirit Moves". I'm really mad that the "Spirit Moves" cd doesn't contain (surprising isn't it?) the song that bears the same title. But this piece is incredibly beautifull, and ensemble just pours those sweet, warm harmonies of this spiritual-influenced melody. 
The band revives the New Orlean's traditions playing charmingly through Douglas originals that show both knack for harmonic depth and cinematic storytelling. Solid soloing, even better ensemble sound and playing, great scores, great contact with an audience - all ingredients of an ole jazz fun. And what a fun it was! In the final piece Dave Douglas plays solo intruduction filled with humorous twists and quotations from music history (pop, classical, jazz), Marcus Rojas on tuba lays the groove with Nasheet Waits. Luis Bonilla and Vincent Chancey are definitely no slackers but my greatest appreciation goes right to Nasheet Waits, lightly swinging, drumrolling, lightly funking. In fact Waits is not doing anything spectacular but the way he doesn't do it is spectacular. Some of the most classy, elegant and delightfull drumming I've watched on stage in a while. And the tuba-drums duo groove deliciously.
Fun and joyfull in the nicest way possible, nothing ear or mind shattering obviously, nothing really surprising or spectacular, but what a pleasure for ears!

the photo was made by fellow listener Pawel Pawlowski - thanks a lot for submitting it.

Dave Douglas - trumpet
Louis Bonilla - trombone
Vincent Chancey - french horn
Marcus Rojas - tuba
Nasheet Waits - drums

Studio Radio Lublin; Lublin; 16.04

actually there are good quality videos of the band on youtube. This one starts with "Spirit Moves" as the concert in Lublin.

Mikolaj Trzaska & Clementine Gasser - III Lublin Jazz Festiwal day 2 concert 1 (16.04)

Mikolaj introduced this concert with a reflection that would sum it up better than anything else. He met with Clemetine in 2004 and they play together every now and then since that moment. Sometimes with other musicians, sometimes (as in this case) in duo setting. In between they work on other projects, they develop new ideas, independently, they grow, they become new persons in a way. So every time they meet again it's like meeting an old friend, but have a lot of new stories to tell each other. 
They start intense, Mikolaj on alto with a lot of agressive extended techniques, making the instrument breath and heave in circles. Clementine's tone on cello is sharp and edgy, poignant. While keeping the tension high, Mikolaj also displays his melodic sensibility, the ever-evident post-romantic, slavic soul. The playing is intense, focused, demanding on all three sides - Mikolaj, Clementine, the audience. Even the softer moments, fragile lines are powerfull. Whether playing softly on sopranino (I think) or deep and dark like the ocean on bass clarinet Mikolaj brings detail forward, the musicality of his solo playing is immense - in fact I think he should do a solo recording soon. With the presence of Clementine on the cello - dominant and equally wild, the duo creates music that is abstract and demands total attention, but can also be very rewarding and It's impossible to ignore the passion within.

(photo by K. Penarski from a concert in Alchemia in March 2007)

Mikolaj Trzaska - alto sax, sopranino, bass clarinet
Clementine Gasser - cello
Studio Radio Lublin; Lublin; 16.04

Monday, April 18, 2011

Free Jazz Alchemist Radio I - Lublin , II - Easter

Because of the weekend in Lublin (III Lublin Jazz Festival) I have to catch-up with some more trivial errands and won't be able to to the live program tonight, but, hopefully with none of the usual technical difficulties, the playlist is ready for you. 
First we will get back to some of the concerts that made the program of the lublin festival (posts about 2nd and 3rd day of the festival will appear in the next few days) - so you can count on some Dave Douglas Brass Ecstasy, Hera or Mikolaj Trzaska & Clementine Gasser in the mix.
Secondly I'd like to present few excerpts from the recently reviewed John Wolf Brennan and Darius Jones & Matthew Shipp duo cds.
Thirdly the Easter holidays are coming. Piotr Baron takes direct inspiration in his faith and in religious music and his readings of those themes (with Wadada Leo Smith!!!) are worthy of attention of any (free)jazz fan, nevermind the religious beliefs. Waclaw Zimpel took on the story of crucifixion, turning it into universal reflection on human fate in his "Passion" with the Undivided band, but citations of traditional religious music appear both in his Hera or The Light groups. Finally there's the most spiritual player in the jazz history saying "Amen" - John Coltrane and rooted in gospel song by Charles Mingus (his birthday is on April 22).

waiting on facebook chat for you! :)

1. Dave Douglas Brass Ecstasy -  The View From The Blue Mountain
2. Darius Jones & Matthew Shipp - Geh-Jodallah
3. John Wolf Brennan - Riggenbach's Rigi Ral Road Riddle
4. Mikolaj Trzaska, Clementine Gasser, Michael Zerang - Harmoneia
5. Darius Jones & Matthew Shipp - Bleed
6. John Wolf Brennan - Maelstrom
7. Darius Jones & Matthew Shipp - Weeja Dell
8. John Wolf Brennan - Auf Valser Pfaden:
                                              Murmelitanx (Dance of the Marmots)

9. Waclaw Zimpel Hera - Monreale
10. Piotr Baron (with Wadada Leo Smith) - Krzyzu Swiety (Holy Cross)
11. The Light (Zimpel/Traczyk/Rasz) - J20; 19-23
12. Waclaw Zimpel Undivided - Droga Krzyzowa / Ukrzyzowanie / Smierc (Way of the Cross / Crucifixion / Death)
13. John Coltrane Quartet - Amen
14. Piotr Baron (with Wadada Leo Smith) - Ja jestem zmartwychwstanie (I am Resurrection)
15. Charles Mingus - Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting (Mingus's birthday on 22.04)
16. Johnny Cash - I'll fly away

the playlist will be repeated twice. hop you'll enjoy it.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Hamid Drake & Pasquale Mirra - III Lublin Jazz Festival - day 1, concert 2

Hamid Drake started this concert with a speech, saying how much he enjoyed the Hera concert, about his experience of meeting Don Cherry, about Cherry's vision of life and music. How they are not separate, and how little is needed in both - love and kindness, compassion. A beautiful and simple message

Drake is undoubtedly one of the most gifted drummers around, versatile in all kinds of ethnic traditions, a true master of the rhythm. He played with joy, with creative spirit, openeness that is touching and inspiring. You kind of expect him to amaze you.

The real surprise was Pasquale Mirra - vibraphone player form Italy, whom I never heard before. He would be a perfect foil to Hamid in this partnership. Fantastic melodic touch, fast and mesmerizing arpeggios instead of chords, very original attitutude toward the instrument, lot of variety there - different mallets, drumsticks or just palm and fingers on the keys. But technical prowess is just a medium, the goal is to create music that is free, passionate, gentle and wild. The way the duo would play together (as in really together) was awe-inspiring, listening closely to each other, they would react instantly to any of the new ideas thet kept flowing - why not to flow from Don Cherry, through tango, towards reggae? I tell you - if you want to have the groove (just hi-hat and the snare drum) Hamid is the best I've seen. 
Propably the most effective moment of the concert was when both players would just stomp their feet, dance rhytmically, Pasquale using his body as the instrument, Hamid with shakers in his hands. Joyfull and touching music. Lot of energy got echanged, in the spirit of Don Cherry, whose melodies would appear throughout the evening, like this one that, fittingly, ended the concert:

Pasquale Mirra - vibraphone
Hamid Drake - drums, frame drum, percussion, vocal

Radio Lublin Studio; Lublin; 15.04

To end the evening Hera and Hamid Drake as a quintet would start the jam session in the festival club. It was something unbelievable. Behind the double push of the two drum sets (and Ksawery on the bass) the quintet would just take us for a beatiful ride, 50 (yes! fifty!) minutes of incessant drive, wild and relentless. With fantastic soloing by all of the players (Pawel Postaremczak hit the roof with his one). Some of the most energizing playing (and clearly the players did enjoy themselves) I've witnessed live. Free-jazz at its best.

Czarna Owca (Black Sheep) Club; Lublin; 15/16.04
Hera & Hamid Drake

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Hera - III Lublin Jazz Festival - day 1, concert 1

The debut "Hera" cd by this quartet was one of the best (in my humble oppinion) albums released in 2010. I was expecting a lot from this concert, but still got surprised. As the music slowly and mysteriously came forward from nothingness, introduced by meditative drones on harmonium played by Zimpel. But after this initial movement - peacefull and solemn the band would hit a groove that was irresistible. Bass riffs, clear tonal centres and incessant rhythm, omnipresent. Definitely a new element, completely different music than the one presented on the album - where sorrow and dramatic edge were predominant.
Here we had music that was joyfull and exuberant. Where slow interludes (expanded sonic palette would include metallic sound of a prepared piano or folk instruments) would lead to a groove that was infectious. Mysterious and shamanic would lead to tribal feast. Impressive soloing by all players in the group was second to the interplay they would show, especially the duets between the reed section (bass clarinet - tenor or clarinet - soprano) showed extraordinary chemistry in this group, with Waclaw and Pawel spiralling, entangled lines, a dialogue, not a duel, creating together mesmerizing flows of notes, like an ever-changing sweet harmonies of Steve Reich. Notes dancing around each other in a celebration of life and music. 
Inspired and inspiring performance, a display of great compositions by Zimpel (I assume), fantastic musicianship but most importantly of incredible sensibility. My special nod goes to Ksawery Wojcinski whose playing was sensational, tone deep and woody, soloing imaginative, groove anchor. Plus he surprised everyone with a strong solo on trembita with a mouthpiece - producing a sound close to a trombone. This group is, I'm not afraid to say, among the best I've heard in a while and this new material (I can only hope it will be recorded and released) is a major step forward in its history.

A tremendous start to what would be a fabulous evening, and, I hope,  a great festival.

a fragment of group's concert in Poznan.

Waclaw Zimpel - bass clarinet, clarinet, trembita, harmonium
Pawel Postaremczak - tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, prepared piano, fujara
Ksawery Wojcinski - bass, trembita (with a brass mouthpiece)
Pawel Szpura - drums

Radio Lublin Studio; Lublin; 15.04

Martin Küchen & Herman Müntzing Scheibenhonig Duo at Swieta Krowa (14.04)

I arrived bit late for this one but still got to see more than a half of a very long 1st set (around 80 minutes). It was Martin Kuchen's name that attired me to the event although I knew well it would be something completely else than the music he plays with Angles or Trespass Trio (fabulous bands by the way). With Herman Muntzing he would create a long electro-acoustic improvisation that had clearly nothing to do with jazz. It would be indeed hard to say what had it to do with.

When I entered the place I could see both Martin and Herman sitting on the floor of the stage, both surroundered by all kinds of objects, somewhat of an installation. With all kinds of drones buzzing and bugging at the end of your head they would create a spare, minimal, meditative and hypnotic sonic enviroment. In a way that every, usually circumstantiall, aspect of sound is valid, every hiss, click, noise, whisper. Something that is completely zen, pure, floating over the reality.

This is sound creation where all of the aspects of traditional music get mixed. It is as much about the visual and stage performance. It is all about sounds not notes, not rhythms, harmonies or else. Texture is both form and substance. Where repetitions that appear seem to follow some secretive mathematic equations. Where sound is trandescent. Where instrument is treated like an object (body of an instrument used to produce the sound), but also any object can become an instrument.

The most accurate review of the concert could well be just a complete catalogue of objects on the stage, I managed only to make a part of those. A toothbrush, 3 electric toothbrushes, glass, metal plate, metal bowl, knife, plastic tubes, shoe cleaning brushes, toy car, razo machine, pocket radio... Especially Herman's electronic installation is impressive as he wires simple objects and throug some kind of amplifications creates different waves by touching those with different objects. Imagine reverb of the sound without the send, magnified thousand times...

For the second set they clear some of the stage, leave only a handfull of accessories and invite Michal Dymny (guitar improviser from Krakow I've written about already on couple of occasions: here for example). He adds more dynamics to the proceedings, the sound are more busy, the texture is dense and deep. And he proves  as able in experimental ways of guitar plucking as he straps the strings with a wire, plays on them through a metal plate or us a mini-fan. The 'music' is also meditative but more in a trans way, not just floating but also disturbing the air and more energetic set, making for a good balance of the entire concert.

Inspiring and unique experience. And that is probably the ultimate goal of this kind of art. Not music, not performance but common experience of an entirely different reality.

Martin Kuchen - alto sax and objects
Herman Muntzing - balalajka, self-made electronic and string devices, objects

Michal Dymny - guitar, objects

Swieta Krowa (Holy Cow); Krakow; 14.04

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

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Darius Jones & Matthew Shipp - Cosmic Lieder [AUM]

Cosmic Lieder

Darius Jones - alto saxophone
Matthew Shipp - piano

AUM Fidelity 2011

The recording of the first musical meeting of Darius Jones and Matthew Shipp presents an opportunity to create a handfull of catchy promotional phrases. Young player who is just coming into his own meets an accomplished and widely acknowledged master of the genre. A student and a teacher. Experiment and experience. One could easily go on with cliches like these concerning the topic of an inter-generational conflict.
The good news is that it's all on the outside, this is all appearance. On the inside there are none.

Concerts, concerts, concerts...

Within the next few days a handfull of concert reviews should appear and, as it is impossible to attend all of the promising events in the area I just wanted to signal some of them:

yesterday begun a mini festival firmed by Lado ABC - a small label dedicated to alternative music, of rock, post-rock and also improvised jazz descendance. The festival ends on friday.
today there is another free-jazz concert in Bomba - with Rafal Mazur, Mieczyslaw Gorka and Ilia Belorukov.
bit later (I'm hoping to catch both) there's Martin Kuchen in a duo with Herman Muntzing in Swieta Krowa (Holy Cow) in Florianska Street.
friday Dave Douglas Brass Ecstasy plays in Katowice.
This band makes also part of the program of IIIrd Lublin Jazz Festival (Hamid Drake, Trzaska / Gasser, Hera, David Binney in the program also) that starts on friday and goes through the weekend. (will be there, will write about it).
Hope to see you around on those occasions!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

John Wolf Brennan - The Speed of Dark (solopiano/nonsolopiano) [Leo]

The Speed Of Dark

John Wolf Brennan
Steinway piano, Yamaha piano, arcopiano, prepared piano, tamburopiano, framepiano, indian harmonium, accordion, hohner melodica, pizzicatopiano, irish whistle...

Leo Records 2009

I've been struggling to put my finger on it for quite a while. This is a piano player solo cd, that has little to do with a solo piano recording. During 23 short pieces of music you'll hear piano interlayered with field recordings, whistles, accordion, melodica, or another piano. You'll hear piano played with a fishing string, with drum mallets or a piano prepared with metal objects, you'll hear its natural voice distorted in many strange ways. 

Monday, April 11, 2011

Free Jazz Alchemist Radio tonight at 8pm with a bunch of guys and girls

Tonight at 8 pm we redo the playlist that was supposed to go on air last week. We'll get back to Rempis / Rosaly duo concert, birthdays of whole lot of historic jazz figures and we'll also talk about the concert coming this week.

8pm CET at
waiting fo you to on-line and chat through facebook.

1. Freddie Hubbard - Blue Frenzy (Freddie's birthday on 7.04)
2. Dave Rempis & Frank Rosaly - In Plain Sight
3. Noah Howard - Ole Negro (Noah's birthday on 06.04)
4. Gerry Mulligan / Chet Baker Quartet - I got rhythm (Gerry's birthday on 6.04)
5. Billie Holiday - Georgia on my mind (Billie's birthday on 07.04)
6. Evan Parker - Chicago solo (4) (Evan's birthday on 05.04)
7. Dave Rempis Percussion Quartet - Larks and Loons
8. Alexander Von Schlippenbach Monk's Casino -Nutty
9. Alexander Von Schlippenbach Monk's Casino -Criss-Cross (Alex's birthday on 07.04)
10. Thelonious Monk Quartet - Well You Needn't (Charlie Rouse's birthday on 06.04)
11. Horace Tascott Pan African People's Arkestra - Coltrane Medley (Horace's birthday on 06.04)
12. John Coltrane - Giant Steps (Art Taylor's birthday on 06.04)
13. Evan Parker / John Edwards / Mark Sanders - Winter VI
14. Alexander Von Schlippenbach Monk's Casino - Rhythm-a-Ning

Friday, April 8, 2011

Dave Rempis & Frank Rosaly Duo at Alchemia (06.04)

The sax-drums duo could easily be my favourite line-up in free jazz territory. The recording by Coltrane & Ali was the first free-jazz I listened to and fell in love with. And some excellent releases coming from recent years (Paal Nilssen-Love with Vandermark or Brotzmann or McPhee, Vandermark with Tim Daisy ...) keep my appreciation for this set-up well and alive. It's rhythm & melody, plain and simply. Basic. But it's also punch & scream (I stole this one from the liner notes to "Born Broke" by Brotzmann & Uuskyla) - a primal expression, the first music that was created. With Dave Rempis (an old friend of Alchemia who played in Krakow countless times) and Frank Rosaly (been here before with Rempis Percussion Quartet) you get all of that.

Dave is a beast on stage. He would play a phrase, repeat a couple of times, until it verged on obsession, then slowly changed it, introduced new elements, new notes, new rhythm patterns. Mutation? Evolution? And then the idea, completely deconstructed or expanded, exploded. And it's time to look for a new one. His playing wa dynamic, the tone full and energetic.
Frank likes to play loud and fast, there's rock energy to the way he plays, and even while creating a cloud of sounds all over the place, he maintains the pulse in an incredible way. He listens closely and pushes the music forward, in constant journey, always looking for the new. The instant reactions between the two players showed a deep understanding and long partnership as they've been playing together (in duo and other settings) for a long time now.
That was the first set and the second one was even better. The musicians were warmed up, so was the audience. Dave started with a cookin' solo going up and down the saxophone's scale (his agility on the instrument is impressive), also had a beautiful short sax-only spot, with soft sounds, delicate chord structures (I know it's a melodic not harmonic instrument, but there was a chord structure in what he was doing, putting the base line with just a hit on the keys, adding notes that were more air than notes actually). Second set also gave more solo space to Frank, who would rock it hard or play gentle and abstract, impressive in both cases.

It was definitely highly satisfying to attend this concert. You may have listened to a lot of sax-drums duos, you may have seen Dave Rempis and Frank Rosaly on stage before, whatever the case is it doesn't make their playing together any less impressive and the music they do any less passionate and fresh. 

The duo is still on the tour so check if you can still get to see them.
More photos from the concert as provided by Krzysztof Penarski to be found here.

Dave Rempis - alto sax, tenor sax
Frank Rosaly - drums

Alchemia. Krakow. 06.04.2011

Monday, April 4, 2011

Radio Jazz Alchemist with Art and Evan and Freddie and Noah and ...

Once again I have to apologize for the lack of new posts recently - I have a bunch of cds I want to write about but can't find the time (spring is here :). Because of the work schedule I also won't be able to do the radio live from the studio but I have a playlist prepared for you. There is Dave Rempis / Frank Rosaly concert coming (Krakow, Wroclaw, Warsaw, Poznan) announcement and so many birthday celebrations it was hard to fit them all: Billie Holliday, Art Taylor, Charlie Rouse, Evan Parker, Horace Tapscott, Alexader von Schlippenbach, Noah Howard. All of them will appear on beginning at 8 PM CET.

detaliled playlist will appear here after the program's finished :

edit: due to some technical issues on the radio server the playlist was not played and it will be moved over to the next week