Strzy i Mlodzi Festivals fills up the weekend. But before we'll jump to the tonight's big event and tomorrow's finale (and a bonus round on tuesday) I feel a definite need to write up few sentences about yesterday.
Medeski Martin & Wood rock. Actually that's an understatement. They groove, they're hip, funky. They're just so much fun to ride along. Chris Wood's is dancing on his toes with the bass and together with Billy Martin they just create an unstoppable groove machine. Medeski jumps with his fingers over the four keyboards around him like a posessed man, toying with registers, timbres. Retro? If we want to play word games it's post-retro. The trio is obviously fascinated with the sound of the 60' and 70' jazz-rock but they play fresh and vigorous.
There are no composed forms in the traditional, song-like sense. We travel through abstract bridges but once we hit the groove, that's all there is. Groove and infinite layers of textures. Nels Cline adds a bit of gutiar whizz (very cool use of electronics, while the pyrotechnic solos were a had a bit of too much fusion inside for my taste).
Fellow jazz journalists had a chance to spoke with John Medeski before the concert and he confirmed his polish origins, apparently he's not the only one in the band either - Billy Martin's mom was pole as well. Best polish jazz band in the world? One thing is for sure - they put the fun(k) back in jazz. It was a hell of a joyful ride.
John Medeski - hammond B3, klavinet, wurlitzer piano, moog
Chris Wood - double bass, bass guitar
Billy Martin - drums, percussion
Nels Cline - guitar, electronics
12.03 Manggha. Krakow. Starzy i Mlodzi Festival
13.03 Cassandra Wilson at Kijow Centrum (Starzy i Mlodzi Festival)
In just a couple hours we'll have to farewell the weekend. I believe Cassandra will make the goodbye easier.
14.04 Dominik Wania Trio at Manghha (Starzy i Mlodzi Festival)
Dominik Wania is definitely a rising star of polish piano, I appraised on the blog his playing with Piotr Damasiewicz's Power of the Horns big band as well as Maciej Obara's Quartet. It's time to focus on Wania's very own trio and his personal takes on Ravel's music.
15.04 RED Trio + Damasiewicz & Lebik at Alchemia
The dynamic RED trio is one of the most active bands on european improvisation scene, Rodrigo Pinheiro, Hernani Faustino and Gabriel Ferrandini quite frequently host special guests with them on stage (ie "Empire" lp with John Butcher or the absolutely fantastic set with Keir Neuringer in Alchemia 3 years ago). This time the trio will grow up to a quintet with the two among the most exciting new polish players Gerad Lebik and Piotr Damasiwiecz. Sparks will fly.
and after that you can start your Easter Holiday preparations.