Autumn has arrived and with it the Jazz Autumn Festival in Kraków. It took three years to bring back Nu Ensemble together, some of the musicians in the group have visited Krakow on many occasions before, few came to Alchemia for the first time and they all received a warm welcome from the full crowd audience.
|Paulina Owczarek and Tomek Gadecki|
Differently to the weeks with Resonance and Barry Guy New Orchestra, the program scheduled for the week has a strong focus on solo and duo performances, with the last set reserved for a bigger group. The new element is the presentation of the polish improv scene and the honor of launching the festival was given to Paulina Owczarek and Tomek Gadecki - SamBar duo. Two baritone saxophones filled the musical space with intriguing sonoristic effects, smoothly exchanging "rhythmic" and "melodic" roles and exploring the unexpected possibilites of the instruments. Coincise and rewarding performance.
The second set was introduced with a short minirecital by Stine J Motland with (as Mats would say afterwards) "some kind of vocal".
A mixture of meachanical ultrasounds, and tongue-clicks - Stine's performance had to raise an eyebrow as she produced the sounds which human voice would not seem capable of. Surprising in methods although the structure could be bit more varied.
|Jon Rune Strom|
Joe McPhee and Christer Bothen musical dialogue was subtle and intimate, with circular lines completing each other's. Peacefull and meditative yet demanding your attention.
The young Jon Rune Strom finished the set with an acoustic (no amp) bass solo, powerfully expressive, relentless in storming through the bass strings. Very intense.
|Swedish Azz with Joe McPhee|
The last set belongs the Swedish Azz, a project through which Mats, Per-Ake, Kjell, Dieb13 and Erik (Carlsson, substituted on the night by Paal Nilssen-Love) can explore the heritare of scandinavian jazz of the 50s and 60s. Don't be fooled though - the lyrical, innocent themes are soon enough transformed into groovy, noisy, wall-of-sound burning explosions. Let my cite form the blog's archive: With Mats Gustafsson as a spokesman, the group is obviosuly not your typical copycats-tribute band. The original tunes (appearing in its original form in the vinyl as well) mash with the post-modern deconstruction with elements of crazy, noise and free all included in the service. The results are inspiring, surprising and often humorous.
Swedish Azz is seriously fun.
More pictures by Krzysztof Penarski available on the photofreejazzblog
Paulina Owczarek, Tomek Gadecki - baritone saxophones
Stine J Motland - voice
Joe McPhee - tenor saxophone; Christer Bothen - bass clarinet
Jon Rune Strom - double bass
Mats Gustafsson - baritone, tenore saxophone, Kjell Nordeson - vibraphone, Per-Ake Holmlander - tuba, Paal Nilssen-Love - drums; Dieb13 - electronics, vinyls
Nu Ensemble week at Krakow Autumn Jazz. Alchemia. 08.10.2013