Jerzy Mazzoll was one of the main protagonists of polish jazz revolution of the 90's known as yass. Yet he sort of disappeared from the scene in the recent years, after the deat of Jacek Majewski - the drummer in his Arhythmic Perfection band whose last cd is now almost a decade old. And now his back with a new project, with his fellow cohort of creative journeys - Slawek Janicki and Qba (Kuba) Janicki - a drummer who represents the new generation of polish musicians, the ones that owes their musical education and inspiration to yass rebels.
The first set consists of two long pieces, the first titled "One sound of siren (for "a" clarinet)" - long suspended notes of the noble instrument, rounded, circled by eerie percussive shades, bent strings, long arco bows filled with colourfull timbres of aliquotes. A long meditation on sound, space, air. Dense, mysterious and constantly creative.
The second one opens with strong bass drive piece, powerfull groove, potent sound of bass riff, strong rhythmic drive. A beautifull, surprising interpretation of Ornette Coleman's "Lonely Woman" was my favorite moment of the evening. Gentle intro, dynamic, mad speedy drums solo (Qba sure did listen to some punk rock in the past), surprising electronic accents (ambient soundscapes, quirky clicks and cracks), main theme mixed surprisingly with polish rap song by Kazik (who recorded once with Mazzoll in the 90s) and finally tinged with some klezmer touch. The adventorous trio was constantly creative, unorthodox in their approach to the instrument (clarinet shrieks and tongue-slapping, arco on the double bass body etc) and the structure (complex textures integrally created by the trio together, clarinet often laying the rhythm structure of the piece instead of taking the lead). Which didn't stop them from playing a couple of melodic and irresistible rhythmic pieces where it was impossible to keep your foot still.
Great musicianship, unlimited immagination, impressive focus - as I'm going through the first listen of their new cd all I can think of is - it's great to have Jerzy Mazzoll back on the jazz stage (or, as it is in my case, to be able to finally hear him live for the first time).
Here's a piece from their concert and legendary Mozg club in Bydgoszcz (a focal point for the yass scene in 90 and to this day one of the most important scenes of the creative music in Poland):
Jerzy Mazzoll - clarinet, bass clarinet
Slawek Janicki - double bass
Qba Janicki - drums, electronics
Harris Piano Jazz Bar. Krakow. 09.03.2012