Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Peter Brotzmann & Jorg Fischer - Live in Wiesbaden [Not Two]

Peter Brotzmann - alto & tenor sax, clarinet, tarogat
Jorg Fischer - drums

Not Two Records 2011

Sax-drums duos are among my favourites and regular readers of the blog are well aware of that. Peter Brotzmann at 70 years old blew me away last autumn with his Japan Trio concert and now he does it again with this cd.
Anyone interested in the slighthest in free jazz and improvised music knows well how Brotzmann plays - he's a heavywegiht champion, he can sound like a tank moving at the light speed, almost bending the space around him. His sound is physical and sometimes even brutal. When he blows hard it's like a heavyweight championship box fight. And while it's hard to dismiss the omnipresent vibrato distorion of his saxophone cries it's easy to overlook the fact that Peter is quite a lyrical soul at times, his playing full of details, pensieve and moody, especially on tarogato.

Waclaw Zimpel & Wolfgang Reisiger at Klub Re (27.02)

My admiration for Waclaw Zimpel's way of playing is no secret and there are lot of posts here on the blog that exemplify this on the blog. Which is why I'll be as brief as possibly - the duo concert with Wolfgang Reisinger brought to Klub Re music that was soulfull and immaginative. Wolfgang proved to be an excellent partner, continuator of european tradition, strongly focused on the melody of drums, adding to that some nice electronic touches. While Zimpel played passionately and with conviction, whether investigating delicate chamber moods or launching some fiery explosions.
The playing was focused but the atmosphere relaxed, the last concert of the small tour, musicians comfortable with each other. Short, yet satisfying set that plus the encore which show even more clearly how Waclaw and Wolfgang enjoyed the stage - a romping and stomping blues by Charles Mingus (can't get the title though), a piece they enjoyed so much they decided to play it twice. And the audience, me included, couldn't be more pleased. 

Waclaw Zimpel - clarinet, bass clarinet, basset horn
Wolfgang Reisiger - drums, electronics

Klub Re. Krakow. 27.02.2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

Jazz Alchemist radio archives with Nina again :)

As said last week, no live program today because I'm at Waclaw Zimpel's concert in Klub Re. And I know that we already celebrated Nina Simone's birthday last week but it's no reason to not do it again - and we will do exactly so with archive program that aired originally last year on 21.02 (you can see the original playlist post). Lot of Nina Simone but also birthdays of Trevor Watts, David "Fathead" Newman, Herb Robertson and some material from then reviewed cd by John Wolf Brennan's Triangulation band. Hope you'll like it.

You can tune in to at 8pm CET or go directly below to the mixcloud player which will appear around the same time or even bit earlier.

Nina Simone
1. Nina Simone - Come Ye (Nina's birthday on 21.02)
2. Trevor Watts & Jamie Harris - Balladinine (Trevor's birthday on 26.02)
3. Andrzej Kurylewicz - I won't stay with You
4. John Wolf Brennan Triangulation - Inner and outer spaces (from "Whirligigs")
5. David Fathead Newman - Hard Times (Fathead's birthday on 24.02)
6. Nina Simone - Brown Eyed Handsome Man
7. Herb Robertson , Richard MEssbauer, Tom Sayerk - X-Rays
8. Nina Simone - Backlash Blues
9. John Wolf Brennan Triangulation - Relax-x 
(from "Whirligigs") 
10. Nina Simone - Revolution
11. David Fathead Newman (as a sideman to Hank Crawford) - Sister Sadie
12. John Wolf Brennan Triangulation - Space Bar 
(from "Whirligigs") 
13. Spontaneous Music Ensemble (Trevor Watts & John Stevens)  - Open Flower 1
14. Andrzej Kurylewicz Trio - Polish Pathways
15. Herb Robertson, Richard Messbauer, Tom Sayek - Last Man Out
16. Andrzej Kurylewicz - Rondo
17. Nina Simone - Buck 
18. Nina Simone - Black is the colour of my true love's hair
19. John Wolf Brennan Triangulation - Lalu Laby 
(from "Whirligigs")

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Mikolaj Trzaska, Rafal Mazur, Mark Sanders at Klub Bomba (24.02)

Mikolaj Trzaska, Mark Sanders
Last year's concert by Trzaska / Brice / Sanders trio called Ha Tichona (which is hebrew for inner ear) was one of the most exciting events I have attended. The trio toured briefly last week in Poland but for the last concert in Krakow Rafal Mazur filled the bass spot.
Such a meeting couldn't prove nothing short of utterly exciting. Even as I had high hopes the band still amazed with the its power, syncronicity, adventurous mindset, intensity level. They played one long set filled with true musical fire. Breaking storm, tornado, magmatic amalgam of sound and space. Fury of immagination. There were moments of patient silences, resounding gongs, and whispers, but most of the time this was a blow out, intense and fiery. Fire music. Fantastic.
Couple of years back I have seen Mikolaj with Mark and Peter Fris Nielsen, after the last year concert with Olie Brice I remember Rafal Mazur (in the audience) saying he would want to play with such drummer. And he got his wish granted, my wish is that the three get to meet and play again.

Rafal Mazur

photos by Krzysztof Penarski

Mikolaj Trzaska - alto saxophone, bass clarinet
Rafal Mazur - acoustic bass guitar
Mark Sanders - drums

Klub Bomba. Krakow. 24.02.2012

Saturday, February 25, 2012

High Definition at Piec'ART (23.02)

Piotr Orzechowski, Alan Wykpisz, Patryk Dobosz
There's something incredible happening around in the polish jazz scene. Young musicians with incredible skills sets, fantastic education, open mindset and no complexes. I have just written briefly about jam session at Literki and here's another clear chance to write about new polish jazz. I stumbled first on Piotr Orzechowski's name on Maciej Nowotny's polish-jazz blog. High Definition is a quartet led by Piotr and they play jazz that is clearly inspired by the classic sound of the 60', 70'  yet is unmistakenably modern - I think especially about hi-hat/rimshots drums'n'bass patterns played by Patryk Dobosz. They opened the night with Ana Maria by Wayne Shorter, there are strong echoes of Keith Jarret's american quartet in Orzechowski's playing and compositions - some blues, gospel echoes as well. Great rhythm section, fantastic composition's structure (no easy task to keep the audience's attention for 20 minutes pieces of music no matter what genre you play), fiery solos - it was all there. High Definition is clearly going to be at the top of polish jazz scene and they deserve as well international attention (the band won I prize in Jazz Hoeilaart last year, Orzechowski won the Grand Prix at Montreux as well). Let me keep the text short - the videos below should make up for the lack more description. Absolutely great concert from the band that only started what I hope will be a long and succesfull journey.

Piotr Orzechowski - piano
Mateusz Śliwa - saxophone
Alan Wykpisz - bass
Patryk Dobosz - drums

Piec'ART. Krakow. 23.02.2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

JJJJAAAAMMMM at Literki (21.02)

Yesterday I finally got to see the Jam Session in Literki. You can find already on the blog a few words of appraisal about Marek Pospieszalski and possibly also Slawek Pezda, however most of the players were completely anonymous for me, which didn't stop them from delivering some absolutely great music. Powerfull improvisations, modern and free, bouncing back and forth influences of free jazz (both american and european tradition), mainstream (a Monk piece played), rock, funk, drum'n'bass, progressive rock (great hammond-like piano riffs). With thre sax players, one viola, piano (two players), bass and drums set (two players) the band created long improvisations featuring some great interplay and smoking solos. All the time bursting with youthfull energy and immagination. I left at the midnight after two hours of great music, while the band was resting before the third set. Make sure to be there next time - it was great stuff. 

you can find a piece from one of the previous meetings if you click the link.

Literki. Krakow. 21.02.2012

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Jazz Alchemist radio with best of 2011 and else

Nina Simone
Over the last week I presented my votes for El Intruso Internationa Poll 2011. Which makes for great occasion to get back to some of the recordings I talked about. 
Plus a couple of birthday mentions (Nina Simone!). Tune in tomorrow (Monday) to at 8pm CET and join me on the facebook chat. Or, if you're late, tune in to the mixcloud player that will be uploaded soon after the program.
Enjoy the music!

1. Nancy Wilson & Cannonball Adderley - Sleepin' Bee (Nancy's brithday on 20.02)
2. James Falzone Klang - Stomipin' At The Savoy (from Klang - "Other Doors")
3. ARTE Quartet plays Fred Frith - Red Rag (from "The Big Picutre")
4. Marcin Masecki Profesjonalizm - Polonez (from "Chopin Chopin Chopin")
5. Nina Simone - See Line Woman (Nina's birthday on 21.02)
6. Ken Vandermark Predella Group - Sieve of Soul (from "Strade d'Acqua")
7. Splatter - Sugar Bang (from "Scraffiti")
8. Reed Trio (Trzaska / Vandermark / Zimpel) - Crossroads and Cosmic Ray (from "The Last Train to the First Station")
9. ARTE Quartet plays Fred Frith - Song and Dance (from "The Big Picutre")
10. Splatter - The Far Side (from "Scraffiti")
11. James Falzone Klang - The Memories of You (from Klang - "Other Doors")
12. Reed Trio (Trzaska / Vandermark / Zimpel) - When Tulips Were Gold (from "The Last Train to the First Station")
13. Splatter - Low Thoughts (from "Scraffiti")
14. ARTE Quartet plays Fred Frith - Rosali's Song (from "The Big Picutre")
15. Nina Simone - Here Comes The Sun (George Harrison's birthday on 24.02)
16. Ken Vandermark Predella Group - Blue Over Green (from "Strade d'Acqua")
17. Nina Simone - Do I Move You
18. Frank Sinatra - Something

Saturday, February 18, 2012

El Intruso Poll - best of 2011 - part 4

Pasquale Mirra
Kjell Nordeson

Pasquale Mirra's duo with Hamid Drake during the Lublin Jazz Festival was something utterly fascinating. Sensibility, melodic and harmonic prowess plus original approach to the instrument, I hope to hear more from this musician.
Kjell Nordeson's contribution is crucial to overall sound and artistic success of Lisa Mezzacappa's "Cosmic Rift". Easily recommended album and some fabulous vibraphone notes.

19.Others instruments
Jim Baker - electronics
Mark Alban Lotz - flutes

Jim Baker simply melts my mind with twisted, fuzzed, anarchic root-electronic noises on "Psychotic Redaction" with Michael Zerang and Kyle Bruckamnn. Possibly the most original cd of the year.
Mark Alban Lotz similarly ancient-modern dialogues with Islak Kopek's musicians are something precious. 

20.Female vocals
Kerry Andrew
Basia Derlak (from Chłopcy Kontra Basia)

While the sextet is led by Laura Cole, responsible also for most of the compositions and all arrangements, Metamorphic - "The Rock Beetwen" wouldn't be equally captivating listening experience without Kerry Andrew's voice of an angel.
Basia Derlak writes lyrics and sings with one of the most original polish young bands I have heard last year. I have presented their EP in the radio, written about a couple of concerts and I can't wait for debut cd, hopefully this year.

21.Male Vocals
Jorgos Skolias
Charlie Beresford
Michael Schiefel

Jorgos Skolias stylistic range is something to behold and for me deserves much more recognition outside Poland. I praised him on the occasion of the concert with Bronek Duzy (trombone).
Charlie Beresford doesn't have a particularly strong voice but his vocals are filled with mysterious charisma, some great improvised songs by Fourth Page on "Blind Horizons".
Michael Schiefel can be heard on pure fun project "Tribute to Bob Marely" by Cool Runnings Orchestra. Fun and adventure.

22.Best live band
Jewish Surf

Hera released their 2nd cd "Where My Complete Beloved Is" which correspondes quite well at what the bands does on stage - trance inducing meditation, potent grooves that get to your body and melodies that fill your mind. Thus they played also in Lubin at the festvial, they introduced new elements later in the year with series of concerts with Michael Zerang. Check the interive with Waclaw Zimpel for more.
Jewish Surf is a perrfect live band, rock, punk, jazz, great riffs, dynamic a true rock pleasure. I have seen them twice last year and I can't wait for the cd.
AutorYno played in Krakow and it was to put it simply smoking guitar rock gig, fabulous energy and jaw dropping guitar shredding. David Konopnicki on guitar rocks!

23.Record Label
Leo Records
NoBusiness Records

LEO records wins for the incredible amount of releases and the consistency. Label that I appreciate most for introducing me to some completely new names (Alexey Kruglov, Fourth Page, Second Approach Trio, Giovanni Francesca) among other releases featuring some free jazz heavyweigts (Ivo Perelman, Joelle Leandre, Jon Corbett). You  can check all the reviews from the label here.
NoBusiness continues its level of excellency, not as many but well chosen releases, LP fetish, some fabulous music. Kudos and many thanks to them. Check all NoBusiness on the blog here.
Kudos and thanks to all the labels that appeared on the blog in the last year. You're making some incredible music available to music fans.

Friday, February 17, 2012

El Intruso Poll - best of 2011 - part 3

Peter Brotzmann
Mikolaj Trzaska
Ivo Perelman

Peter Brotzmann is 70 years old and he's playing is a smoking as ever, powerfull and captivating. Fantastic concert during Autumn Jazz Festival plus at least one great cd (which I will write about soon).
Mikolaj Trzaska's solo concert was one of the most intense performances I have ever seen as well as Ha Tichona trio in Alchemia which were just two of many occasions I had to see Mikolaj live. Add to that a couple of great cds (Inner Ear - "Breathing Steam" being the latest). I invite you to read the interview I had a pleasure to conduct.
Ivo Perelman's playing is something absolutely unique. His quartet's recording ""The Hour of the Star" confirms his position as one of the best sax players around.

Andrzej Przybielski
Dennis Gonzalez
Taylor Ho Bynum

I already put Andrzej Przybielski as one of the most important artists of the last year and it's even more obvious if we think about trumpet players. 2011 saw not only Andrzej's death but also an entire set post mortem releases featuring absolutely great music.
Dennis Gonzalez convinced me with his playing "The Hymn Project" - lyrical, captivating and adventerous.
Taylor Ho Bynum solos on the stage with The Edge quartet put some fabulous solos - possibly the best trumpet performance I have seen on stage last year (and one of only few)

James Falzone
Waclaw Zimpel
Perry Robinson

James Falzone's Klang - "The Other Doors" is a thoughtfull tribute to Benny Goodman and contains some fantastic clarinet sounds.
Waclaw Zimpel continues his development, this year he released new Undivided "Moves Between the Clouds" with Perry Robinson, Reed Trio - "Last Train to the First Station" with Mikolaj Trzaska nad Ken Vandermark, new Hera - "Where My Complete Beloved Is", participated in Resonance Project, plus gave some fantastic concerts with Hera, Ircha Clarinet Quartet, Undivided, Michael Zerang. Check the interview.
Perry Robinson appears on aforementioned Undivided cd but he also appeared in Poznan during the Tzadik Festival, both with Undivided, with a new special quartet project, plus kicking some ass during the jam sessions.

Samuel Blaser
Henrik Munkeby Norstebo
Jeb Bishop

Samuel Blaser charmed with a solo concert in Krakow, delighted with his quartet cd "Consort in Motion" dedicated to baroque music and finally confirmed his position with a "Boundless" released on Hat Hut (to be reviewed soon).
Henrik Munkeby played in Krakow with a pretty great young scandinavian trio, on which occasion I also got his "Solo" cd featuring some pretty great trombone playing.
Jeb Bishop plays some stunningly beautifull solos with Predella Group led by Ken Vandermark. Nough said.

Ig Henneman
Szilard Mezei
Tom Swafford

One of the best cds of 2011 and some jaw-dropping virtuoso violin playing - Ig Henneman Sextet "Cut a Caper".
Szilard Mezei's folk-classical-jazz vision and playing can be appreciated on his trio's outing "Tisza" and intriguing wind quartet release "Innen" both cds easily recommended.
Tom Swafford on "Kef" is simply on fire, sparks flying of the instrument. Fiery, fierce, energetic and passionate playing.

17. Cello
Fred Lonberg Holm
Daniel Levin
Henna Chou

Obviously not the only cd he released on 2011 but Fred's gets his spot in particular for his playing on "Strade D'Acqua" with Vandermark's Predella Group. Pure beauty.
Daniel Levin's passion and virtuosity was almost palpable when he played in Alchemia last year, played like in trance, played with almost destructive passion.
Henna Chou's deserves infinite appraisal for her input to Gonzalez / Haker Flaten - "The Hymn Project".

Thursday, February 16, 2012

El Intruso Poll - best of 2011 - part 2

And the El Intruso Poll votes continue below:

5. Album of the year

Possibly the most difficult category and I went with Joelle Leandres release on Leo Records which is not only stunning but also a double cd so I get to put two completely different groups (Tentet and a Trio) on the first place.
"Cut a Caper" by Ig Henneman is an album brilliantly composed, performed by a stellar ensemble and executed with staggering passion. Adventorous, captivating, demanding and rewarding.
As there were so many great albums released in 2011 I couldn not reach any decision on the third spot and decided to leave it blank. 

6. Composer
- Veryan Weston
- Achim Kauffman
- Ig Henneman

It's a rare case that an improvising musician creates a compositions to be performed by another musician. Veryan's "Different Tesselations" is an incredible vehicle for Leo Svirsky in his virtuosic performance as well as for the unique and surprising chants by Vociferous Choir.
"Verivyr" by Achim Kauffman trio presents some of the most intelligent jazz writing. Tricky, filled with surprising twists and contrasts. Example of how a good composition should be much more than just a mere pretext to introduce the improvisation. 
As for Ig Henneman see above the nomination of her sextet's album "Cut a Caper". Brilliant, post-modern compositions, collourfull and attentive arrangements, a masterpiece.

7. Drums
- Tom Rainey
- Paal Nilssen-Love
- Gerald Cleaver

Tom Rainey's playing on Anderskov Accident's "Full Circle" is an absolute magic. Melody, detail, power and finesse. Add to that also his appearance on Marc Ducret's "Tower, vol 2" and no furher arguments are needed to explain his spot on the list. (* Tom's photo from allaboutjazz)
Paal Nilssen-Love is one my favourite drummers, creative, fast, strong, heavy and unstoppable. His playing in a duo with Ken Vandermark as well as on great live album "Winter's Tour" by Calling Signals 09 (Gjerstad / Corbett / Stephens / Nilssen-Love) guarantess him the second spot on my list.
Possibly one of the richest categories around as there's so many fantastic drummers around but I decided to give the third spot to Gerald Cleaver for the consummate passion of his playing on "The Hour of the Star" by Ivo Perelman's Quartet.

8. Bass
- Nick Stephens
- Lisa Mezzacappa
- Eric Revis

You can hear Nick Stephens full bodied, muscular tone and unlimited energy on a few releases from 2011. So far I've written about "Winter's Tour" by Calling Signals 09 (Gjerstad / Corbett / Stephens / Nilssen-Love) and "Kongens Gade" - trio with Jon Corbett and Louis Moholo-Moholo but I'll probably add to that list soon. (Nick's photo from allaboutjazz)
Lisa Mezzacappa's playing and vision is on full display on "Cosmic Rite". Fabulous playing that underlines perfectly the ensemble.
Eric Revis's could be heard both on stage as on record with the Avram Fefer trio (with Chad Taylor filling the drummer's spot). A master in full control of the instrument, fabulous performances. Here's more about the "Eliyahu" cd, while here's more about the concert.

Raphael Rogiński
Fred Frith
Aram Bajakian

Rapahael Roginski's sound is something absolutely unique, I had a pleasure to see him twice on stage with Jewish Surf project and once with special quartet formed by Waclaw Zimpel, Perry Robinson, Michael Zerang and himself. In 2012 we should see a second release by Shofar (with Mikolaj Trzaska and Macio Moretti) and the cd documenting the session with Perry Robinson. Can't wait.
Fred Firth mesmerized me with his unorthodox approach to the guitar (which almost never sounded like one) during his solo performance during the Open Ear evening (celebration of the polish presidency in EU). A fabulous improviser and great composer which can be heard also on the cd "The Big Picture" by ARTE Quartet playing his older composition "Freedom in Fragments".
Aram Bajakian's debut "Kef" album delivers some smoking hot guitar shredding as well as beautifully delicate melodies.

Veryan Weston
Achim Kauffman
Marcin Masecki

Veryan Weston not only charmed his way with his ubiqous "Different Tesselations" as a composer but even more so as a piano improviser with fantastic duo album "5 More Dialogues" with Trevor Watts. The fact that I missed (due to the illness) their concert in Krakow is one of my biggest regrets of the 2011. Truly original, and incredibly immaginative musician.
Achim Kauffman for his trio cd "Verivyr" deserves appraisal both as a piano player and a composer. It's been long since a piano trio album took me by surprise the way "Verivyr" did.
Marcin Masecki's piano playing is something special, completely unique and peculiar, mathemathical, sometimes catchy, sometimes sketchy, in search for weird, funny patterns and figures, in complete opposition to the most common post-romantic approach to the instrument. I've written about his Profesjonalizm band and "Chopin, Chopin, Chopin" cd.

Jacob Aanderskov
Paweł Kaczmarczyk

Jacob Anderskov's playing on Wurlitzer and its sound makes the difference on one of the best cds of 2011 "Full Circle" by Anderskov Accident. Simply great.
Pawel Kaczmarczyk entertained greatly as a keyboard-wizz with cosmic modular sounds, funky riffs and fuzzy solos when playing with Mazolewski Bund Band at Cheder Cafe. Pure fun.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

El Intruso Poll - best of 2011 - part 1

For the second time I was honoured an invite to participate in El Intruso 4th Annual Critics Poll 2011 where bloggers from around the globe proposed their selection of best of the last year. I waited before posting here my votes until the general results would be presented on El Intruso. You can consult the Poll here. More than 20 categories and only 3 possible choices for each (gave me quite a headache) - my choices (and short comments) will appear on the blog in the next few days cut into few separate posts.
Obviously it's all fun, all subjective, all interchangeable in many ways - art is not a race, any kind of comparison is hardly possible in most cases and most of all in the end it's not a list of "the best of 2011" but rather "my favourite cds or musicians in 2011 based on the concerts I got to see and cds I got to listen to in 2011" - which leaves leaves an entire universe of musicians, concerts and cds I didn't get to see for one reason or another.
Having said that - enjoy!

1. Musician of the year- Mikolaj Trzaska
- Joelle Leandre
- Andrzej Przybielski

Mikolaj Trzaska did release more than a handfull of cds last year (I invite you to read the interview with him to have more details) and I reviewed on this blog so far the Inner Ear Quartet with Steve Swell, Tim Daisy and Per Ake Holmlander - "Breathing Steam", "The Last Train to the First Station" by Reed Trio with Ken Vandermark and Waclaw Zimpel and "Kafka in Flight" with Vandermark's Resonance Project - all fabulous albums. What is much more important though is that his solo concert during the Tzadik Festival as well as the trio concert with Mark Sanders and Olie Brice (Ha Tichona trio at Alchemia) were probably the two most powerfull music statements I had witnessed the entire last year, first filled with sense of incredibly intimacy, honesty, latter positively and staggeringly powerfull and freewheling (and those were not the only occasions last year to see Mikolaj on stage, you can find much more in the blog's archives).
Joelle Leandre simply stunned me with her double album  "Live at the "Ulrichsberger Kaleidophon" - featuring  two completely different performances and two powerfull visions. It's a must.
Andrzej Przybielski passed away at 9th february this year. My nomination is not merely a tribute - it is ironic enough that a musician that released only one cd as a leader in his liftetime has now three post-mortem cds ("De Profundis" with Oles Brothers, "Sesja Open" and "Tren Żałobny" - which I should write soon about). A parting gift? If so, a welcomed and appreciated one.

2. Newcomer Musician
- Alexey Kruglov
- Brian Settles
- Rafal Mazur

Alexey Kruglow may be known well for followers of the russian improv scene but most of us got to know him through the recent Leo Records releases - between march 2010 and august 2011 he released four albums for this label and they're all easily recommended. You can find on the blog the reviews of the monumental "Identification" and "Karate" with Jaak Sooaar Trio. Strong and fresh.
I don't know really too much about Brian Settles beside the music on his debut cd "Secret Handshake" which speaks clear and loud for his talent.
Rafal Mazur is hardly a "newcomer" to any Krakow-based improvised music fan - he's been long a mastermind behind the growing community of improvising musicians. What I hope for is that he reached at leas some international exposure which he deserves and concerts like the one with Liudas Mockunas and Raymond Strind (recorded and hopefully to be released) could help that. Which was just one of many fantastic performances I could attend this year (especially duos with Mikolaj Trzaska and Keir Neuringer desereves to be mentioned). I might add another honor mention to this category - Ilia Belorukov - his inspiringly creative approach to the instrument is something to behold. He played in Krakow with Rafal Mazur and Mieczyslow Gorka.

3. Band of the year
- Resonance Ensemble
- Mikolaj Trzaska IRCHA Clarinet Quartet
- Splatter

Ken Vandermark's Resonance Project gathers together some of the best in the free jazz world, much more than an "all-star" group this band is guided by Ken Vandermark's vision and driven by musicians' passion, chemistry. I heard only stories about the mini festival in USA, I can't wait to see them live this march (and get the new cd) and their last one "Kafka in Flight" started the 2011 with a blast.
Mikolaj Trzaska and Waclaw Zimpel play also together in IRCHA Clarinet Quartet, a 4-voiced clarinet choir,  that charms on stage (as on this occasion) on cd "Lark Uprising" with Joe McPhee. In their music the spirit of Coltrane, jewish melodies and modern chamber harmonies meet together. I'm quite ashamed I haven't had  chance yet to listen to their second cd (released in december).
I nominated Splatter because of their cd "Scraffiti" which contains some of the most ensemble-conscious democratic improvisations I heard. A true beauty.

4. Newcomber Band
Ha Tichona Trio (Trzaska / Brice / Sanders)
Rafal Mazur / Liudas Mockunas / Raymond Strid
Vojtech Prochazka Trio

This category is based entirely on live permormances I have seen last year. Three unbelievably good concerts and I can only hope to hear much more from those trios (incidentally another common indicator). Ha Tichona Trio is supposed to have an lp released by No Business (more in the interview with Mikolaj Trzaska), the concert by Rafal, Liudas and Raymond was registered with plans to press a cd. And I know that Vojtech Prochazka with his trio was planning to record another session and I hope they got to do it (their debut cd is more of a modern mainstream thing, quite good but definitely didn't live up to the promise they delievered on stage).

next "chapter" tomorrow :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Jazz Alchemist Radio with Henry Threadgill, Nicole Mitchell and others

Nicole Mitchell
Tomorrow's Monday! So, tune in at 8 pm CET to - we'll remember the birthdays of Henry Threadgill - one of the co-founders of AACM and possibly the greatest composers of avantguarde scene, and of Nicole Mitchell - who in a way continues Threadgill's work both in AACM and in the subject of big ensemble jazz. Plus we'll cover another couple of cds reviewed during the summer time that havent't got yet their chance to be presented in the playlist.

Hope you'll enjoy the music and connect on facebook chat.

1. Henry Threadgill Very Very Circus - Carry The Day
2. Nicole Mitchell's Black Earth Strings - Aaya's Rainbow
3. Giovanni Francesca, Aldo Galasso, Dario Miranda - Mod 1 (from "Telegraph")
4. Aram Bajakian's Kef - Sepastia (from "Kef")
5. Mark Alban Lotz & Islak Kopek - We (from "Istanbul Improv Sessions May 4th")
6. Jim Baker, Kyle Bruckmann, Michael Zerang - We All Sleep Sealed in Firey Wire (from "Psychotic Redaction")
7. Nicole Mitchell & Black Earth Ensemble - Wondrous Birth
8. Henry Threadgill Air - B.K.
9. Aram Bajakian's Kef - Sumlinian (from "Kef")
10. Henry Threadgill Zooid - Dark Black
11. Mark Alban Lotz & Islak Kopek - Mouthwater (from "Istanbul Improv Sessions May 4th")
12. Jim Baker, Kyle Bruckamnn, Michael Zerang - No Climax for Conscious Dead (from "Psychotic Redaction")
13. Giovanni Francesca, Aldo Galasso, Dario Miranda - Mod 4 (from "Telegraph")
14. Nicole Mitchell Indigo Trio - Thankfulness
15. Henry Threadgill Very Very Circus - Try Some Ammonia

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Interview with Mikołaj Trzaska - part VI

Resonance - Kafka in Flight

10. Od dawna działasz w międzynarodowych składach i wydaje mi się, że jednym z takich kluczowych momentów był projekt Resonance, z tego projektu narodziła się formacja Inner Ear, która powstawała w wyniku wielu przygód...

Zawsze tak jest, bo zespół to przede wszystkim ludzie.
Resonance to był taki moment, kiedy zaczeło się wiele rzeczy, zaczałem pracować z Kenem i... Ale może inaczej.
Jak zacząłem pracować z Peterem Frisem Nielsenem, potem Friis Nielsen spotkał mnie z Peterem Brotzmannem. Jak zacząłem pracować z Joe McPhee, to Joe dostał propozycję od Marka Winiarskiego ale przedtem zapytał się Brotzmanna bo ten mu powiedział. Potem Jedna Baba powiedziała drugiej Babie, to cały czas tak jest. I nie ma innego sposobu nauczyć się tego języka jak wędrując po ludziach, cały czas tego się uczę. Z czasem ten język staję się coraz bardziej klarowny, skodyfikowany. To się dzieję dzięki ludziom, i dzięki pracy.
A jednocześnie jest bardzo dużo wydarzeń wokół, ktoś się spóźnił, ktoś nie przyjechał. silne relacje, jest bardzo dużo takich napięć emocjonalnych. Bo to się dzieje na prawdę. Pojawiasz się na scenie i widzisz, i to słyszysz, że to jest TA kapela, słyszysz to. Gramy bardzo dużo różnych improwizacyjnych spotkań, bo na tym polega muzyka improwizowana. I czasami słyszysz i od pierwszego razu wiesz, że to jest ten skład. Patrzysz, że idziesz gdzieś i po prostu ktoś idzie za tobą, albo ty możesz za kimś iść, albo możesz odwrócić się od kogoś i ktoś pójdzie dalej. To jest zupełnie poza wytłumaczeniem.
Inner Ear, pamiętam tak właśnie było jak zagraliśmy tutaj po raz pierwszy w tym składzie, Ken siedział sam już zapleczu, to był chyba ostatni set...

- Wy wszyscy mieliście problem z dotarciem do Krakowa, dlatego tak został ustalony skład na ostatni set.

Ach tak! Tak było. Powinniśmy się nazywać The Laters (śmiech).

- Podobnie mieliście zagrać koncert w Krakowie w zeszłym roku...

I też żeśmy się spóźnili (śmiech), ja o tym kompletnie nie pamiętam. To ty takie rzeczy

-Pamiętam dobrze (śmiech). Steve Swell i Tim Daisy nie dolecieli na czas...

Teraz też będziemy grać trasę, po Resonance, wykorzystam to, że chłopaki w Europie, no i będzie następna płyta, mamy trochę materiału.

You've been active in international groups for quite a while and I think one of the crucial moments in your career was the Resonance project, out of which was born Inner Ear, a group born out of many coincidences...

It's always like this, we're all just humans.
Resonance, many things started with that project, I began working with Ken and wellI'll try to tell it differently.
I started working with Peter Friis Nielsen, then he introduced me to Peter Brotzmann. Then I started playing with Joe McPhee and Joe got this proposition from Marek Winiarski but before agreeing he consulted with Peter and Brotzmann told him so and so. Then and Old Lady told another Old Lady and that's how it goes on and on. And there's really no other way to learn this language but going from one musician to another, I'm still learning it. With time the language becomes clearer, more codified. That's thanks to people, and thanks to work.