Saturday, July 20, 2013

Tie Break / Power of the Horns / Sun Ra Arkestra at Warsaw Summer Jazz Days 2013 (17.07

The program of the third day of 2013 Warsaw Summer Jazz Days was a true journey through timespace continuum of jazz music.

Tie Break that started the evening is a group that emerged in the late 80s, amid the monotonic greyness of polish communism reality. The band's colourfull music, stood in perfect opposition to the traditional New Orlean jazz festivals. Funky rhythm section, rock guitar riffs, rebelious sax – tumpet frontline and, most of all, monosyllabic, playfull and tribal chants. Joyfull, energetic and spontanous. Probably influenced the most by electric Miles bands of the era, collected on the black market in underground Poland of the era, spiced with tribal showmanship.
Despite my utter respect for the Tie Break's role in polish jazz history I have to say also that their sound did seem rather outdated, just like great Miles Davis records of the era. The musician's energy on stage made the time travel experience very enjoyable.

The veterans left the stage to the youg ones - Power of the Horns is a big unit led by trumpeter Piotr Damasiewicz. The name of the band says it all – six men strong horn unit is fully supported by the double rhythm section (2 drum-sets including the guest Gabriel Ferrandini, 2 double basses, percussion player) and a piano. The music shined with different colours – echoes of traditional big band music, aftican tribal rhythms, unresistable grooves, chants of warrios goin to the battlefield, modern music harmonious complexity as well as uninhibited energy of full-blow free jazz. Damasiewicz keeps the structure in focus while allowing musicians plenty of freedom. Although the band's name is The Power of the Horns and horns deliver, my favourite moments are Dominik Wania's piano solos who throw the music off-balance with classical counterpoint. As impressive the unit energy was live, I look forward to listening to the group's debut cd just released on the ForTune label.

The main concert of the evening was the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra. After the look into the past and another look into the future of polish jazz The Arkestra presented the whole panorama of jazz history, after all this music was created by the guy who come to Earth straight from Saturn, his perception of planetary music must be rather wide.
So the Arkestra, in the shiny red-silver-gold togas, pleases the audience with some swinging tunes, lounge music even with silk black vocals, african chants, modern jazz, free, spaced out synth (I honestly hate EWI), joyfull dances. Marshall Allen looks like a disneyland wizard but he's playing is still crazy enough (89 years old!) to raise a few eyebrows. Michael Ray broad, New Orlean's trumpet sound is equally a pleasure to listen to.
Sun Ra Arkestra's performance is a true spectacle. True everyman entertainment that brings us back to medieval street theatre companys (to see a 70 year old going forward flip on the stage – priceless). On the other end of the same spectrum is the mystical shamanism of the interplanetary mantras. Arkestra's music main value is that of the comunity experience – the ancient role of music that organizes the socety's life, a cycle that includes both the sacred rituals and profanum feasts.

The musical celebration (the concert lasted nearly two hours, till the midnight) ended as the musicians danced together with the audience (baritone and alto saxes walking between the seats, followed by the happy people clapping, dancing, laughing). Music, love and life – at some moments it all becomes one. That was one of those. 

Tie Break
Mateusz Pospieszalski - saxophones, voice; Antoni "Ziut" Gralak - trumpet, voice; Janusz "Yanina" Iwanski - guitar, voice; Marek Pospieszalski - bass guitar; Frank Parker - drums

Power of the Horns
Piotr Damasiewicz - trumpet; Pawel Niewiadomski - trombone; Gerard Lebik - tenor sax; Marek Pospieszalski - tenor sax; Maciej Obara - alto sax; Dominik Wania - piano; Kuba Mielcarek - double bass; Max Mucha - double bass;  Wojciech Romanowski - drums; Gabriel Ferrandini - drums

Sun Ra Arkestra
unfortunately I was unable to write down all the names during the performance and I can't seem to find them on the we, well' try to complete it asap.

Soho Factory. Warsaw Summer Jazz Days 2013. 17.07.2013

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