Sunday, May 6, 2012

Paweł Kaczmarczyk Directions in Music with Jorgos Skolias - Ray Charles at Harris Piano Jazz Bar (04.05)

Directions in Music project led by Paweł Kamczarczyk pays hommage to the pianist's leaders and among previous editions were to be heard innovative arrangaments of music by Eric Dolphy, Sam Rivers, Freddie Hubbard and many more. The concert in Harris las friday was dedicated to Ray Charles, quite a change as we move away from jazz legends to a legend of pop culture, yet no one would debate its connection to jazz world (apart from r'n'b & pop chart hits Ray played some jazz as well in fact).

The main artistic risk and general question in projects like that is how to approach the original music and Pawel Kaczmarczyk takes an adventurous approach to Ray's songs. The originals are completely restuructured and reorganized on all levels of harmony, rhythm, melody's cadence. Bluesy and smooth "Georgia on my mind" might be the closest to the original. Other songs are filled with sudden twists and surprising ideas. "I can't stop loving you" circles in contrasts as the funky groove intro stops suddenly before a ballad verse. There's also expanded keyobard solo and Pawel's joy of music is infective as he seems like a kid playing a video game when he toys with cosmic sounds, fat beats and spacious echoes. There's hypnotic, extended, impressionistic solo on a ripetitive bass patern "Here we go again" that. "Hit the road Jack" focuses on walking piano labirynth-like line and galloping d'n'bass drum rolls. "Hallelujah I love her so" starts with gospel intro but then hits a hard-bop brakes with a salsa twist in the middle. Ambitious and fun, and Paweł Kaczmarczyk also found the right guys to play the material with - Jorgos Skolias is a singer with warm voice and very personal expression, Dawid Fortuna is one the best groovers right now, he's way of playing is only deceivingly simple, he can hit it hard or lay it smooth and light, Maciej Adamczak anchors the music with ease, mantaining order when young guns are hitting it off.

Adventurous and entertaining. A croud pleaser? Jazz for masses? If so, who cares, I want more. This was a lot of fun, check some samples from the previous concert below and see for yourself.

Jorgos Skolias - voice
Paweł Kaczmarczyk - piano
Maciej Adamczak - double bass
Dawid Fortuna - drums

Harris Piano Jazz Bar. Kraków. 04.05.2012

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