Thursday, May 17, 2012

Matthew Shipp & Mateusz Walerian duo at Alchemia (16.05)

Mateusz Walerian is a young polish jazz saxophone player that, although he has not yet recorded a cd, plays regularly with the likes of Hamid Drake and Matthew Shipp which should be prove enough that he's a musician to observe closely. The duo tour with Matthew Shipp arrived also to Krakow to share its music with audience at Alchemia.
Matthew Shipp remains one of the most characteristic piano players of the generarion, his musical language rooted in the classical avant-guarde music from one side and solemn church hymns on the other. Heavy chords, contrasted by gentle suspension of the notes and subtle modulations  and shifts within the repetitive lines or reinforced by thunderous storm of hands on the keyboard. 
Mateusz Walerian's playing is rooted in the early free-jazz, with heavy echoes of bluesy tone. His lines can be jazzy in the spirit of post-bop as well as angular and abstract, he goes for more direct approach on alto, while searching for more sonic shades on bass clarinet. He tends for modest and minimal, selecting carefully the means of his expression.
Together they created a program that shifts between tension between their styles of playing and comunication, between here and there, now and then, between solemn hymnos, romping jazz tune with boogie piano line, idyllic and peacefull meditations in the form of ancient mantra of serial music. Thunderous explosions of expression contradicted by chamber-like subtle moments of lirycism. With the variety and the span of the performance (80 minutes long continuous piece) the concert was a bit overwhelming, nonetheless rewarding well the attention. 
While it was Matthew Shipp who in my ears dominated the evening (not at all surprising given his style and power of expression) I treat Mateusz Walerian's playing as a promise and it remains to be seen how he manages to keep it. I'd like to see him step up more as a leading voice in the near future.

 ps. the duo is playing next days in
Wroclaw (17.05)
Warszawa (18.05)
Poznan (19.05)
Szymbark (20.05)
so hopefully you have a chance to catch them live.

Mateusz Walerian - alto sax, bass clarinet, clarinet, flute
Matthew Shipp - piano

Alchemia. Krakow. 16.05.2012

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