Monday, November 25, 2013

Postermczak - Szpura duo / Imprographic Quartet - Polish Jazz at Alchemia (Krakow Autumn Jazz 23.11)

A day off for Ken Vandermark and Resonance during a week of heavy workload. Saturday at Alchemia was a polish jazz evening, a presentation of some of the most talented and active musicians on the scene. Alhough Krakow Autumn Jazz festival have never focused on music played by polish artists, it did keep track though of some of the most interesting musicians and there would always be a polish ingredient in the festival's mix.

The first set of the night is played by sax - drums duo of Pawel Postaremczak and Pawel Szpura, both well-known from Hera quartet and some other projects. Their music was intense and emotional, with a clear crescendo narration, round and deep sax tone, laden with soft vibrato and incessant rhythmic pulse. The duo take great inspiration in classic sound of the John Coltrane / Rashied Ali duo, and while their performance have not added lineage of the great sax-drums units so far, the sincerity and dedication evident in the music made their performance a true pleasure to listen to. I hope the two will continue to play together and explore the challenges and chances hidden within the duo.

Imprographic Quartet takes the stage for the second set and though it's instrumental line-up refer to many american free-jazz groups, but the music differs a lot, as Damasiewicz favours an intimate dialouge and elusive labirynth structures to full-speed free jazz. Damasiewicz and Lebik would quite often dot the space with spare and dots and lines. Ferrandini's drumming can be a bit too muscular at times (he's overshadowing bass) but also quite melodical and those moments of abstract balance proove to be the most interesting parts of the set. While Imprographic's approach might seem intellectual, especially considering the wild "Alamani" tribe of Power of the Horns, it seems more suited to describe it as thoughtfull. The open architecture leaves plenty of space for immagination.

The clue of the evening is a simple reflection. You might stay for a week with some of the most creative musicians around, and there actually ARE some artists in Poland that you can proudly put on the very same stage, and the music they will play will resonate well within the context. Things are looking quite optimistic for polish jazz audience.

set I
Pawel Posteremczak - tenor sax
Pawel Szpura - drums

set II Piotr Damasiewicz Imprographic Quartet
Piotr Damasiewicz - trumpet
Gerard Lebik - saxophone
Max Mucha - double bass
Gabriel Ferrandini - drums

Alchemia. Krakow Autumn Jazz. 23.11.2013 

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