Saturday, July 14, 2012

Warsaw Summer Jazz Days day 1 - Wojtek Mazolewski Quintet / Bad Plus & Joshua Redman / Joe Lovano & Dave Douglas Quintet

As I'm enjoying myself in Warsaw for those couple of days I'll try to write down as briefly as possible impressions from the first day of the festival which constitutes one of the biggest jazz events on polish scene every year.

First days starts with polish accent, Wojtek Mazolewski with his Quintet, an alltogether different project than Pink Freud I've recently written about. After surprising reinterpretation of classic jazz sound of blue note ("Smells Like Tape Spirit") they started flirting with pop-culture and genres like reggae, ska, dub. The concert was a coninuation of this flirt, enjoyeable, entertaining, they even included a cover of "Bombtrack" by Rage Against The Machine (fun, with free sax walining over the piano-bass emulating the riff, but not really even close to the energy of the original, which would be probably an impossible task anyway). Maybe they got too comfortable, maybe they're just having fun on the stage, I'd like to hear them playing something of more weight and substance (btw, Wojtek Mazolewski played the night before with Marek Pospieszalski and Qba Janicki in Alchemia and there you could here some things REALLY happening) but still, a nice introduction to the festival.

Wojtek Mazolewski Quintet
Wojtek Mazolewski - double bass
Marek Pospieszalski - alto sax
Oscar Torko - trumpet
Joanna Duda - piano, fender piano
Michal Bryndal - drums

Bad Plus trio with Joshua Redman, as if intentionally to oppose my expectations, did no covers at all, filled their set with a selection of originals. Modern jazz with beautifull group sound, sophisticated and subtle compositions with strong themes allowing for powerfull soloing by all of the musicians (a completely useless non-descriptive thing to notice as it kind of describes all jazz music - fortunately I can bypass the describing - just check the available videos). There are moments of real heat happening on the stage as they hit some passionate crescendos. I especially enjoyed the bautifull bass sound, in the vein of Dave Holland, by Reid Anderson and brilliant, elegant and powerfull drumming by Dave King. (Unfortunately I don't think it ever got this heated as in the track below).

Bad Plus Trio featuring
Joshua Redman - alto sax
Ethan Iverson - piano
Reid Anderson - double bass
Dave King - drums

Last but deffinitely not least, Dave Douglas and Joe Lovano hitting it off with the set of composed themes (dedicated to Wayne Shorter), in great company (Joey Baron just nailing the drums set, I was i impressed by Linda Oh  on the bass, some downright nasty  walkings). An Absolute jazz fun, fantastic playing, killer solos, a testimony to the fact thay any true jazz is really free in its spirit, not because of the "free" or "mainstream" convention but because the artist's freedom  of mind.

I promised to be brief,  I hope the videos will make up for that.

Joe Lovano / Dave Douglas Quintet
Joe Lovano - tenor sax, stritch
Dave Douglas - trumpet
Lawrence Fields - piano
Linda Oh - double bass
Joey Baron - drums

Warsaw Summer Jazz Days
SOHO Factory. Warsaw. 12.07.12

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