Sunday, February 27, 2011

Week off

I have to apologize for lack of new posts recently but I am abroad for a couple of days with scarce access to internet and no time really to write anything. The radio program for tomorrow is canceled for the very same reasons. Next post quite possibly will be ready by the end of this week and next monday the radio appointment is on ;) 
Before leaving Krakow for those couple of days I got fresh brand new cd from Not Two - Ken Vandermark Resonance - Kafka in Flight. Killing material which I will write about asap.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Free Jazz Alchemist Radio with Nina

As any other monday I'm waiting for you with another portion of music at 8 pm on W'ell listen to some songs from recently reviewed "Triangulation : Whirligigs". Also celebrate birthday of such musicians like Trevor Watts, Herb Robertson, Andrzej Kurylewicz and the one and only Nina Simone.

Andrzej Kurylewicz's birthday is on 24.11. Yet the AllAboutJazz stays otherwise :) . Still it remains great music so no harm done if we listen to it without any occasion :)

1. Nina Simone - Come Ye (Nina;s birthday today - 21.02)
2. Trevor Watts & Jamie Harris - Balladinine (Trevor's birthday on 26.02)
3. Andrzej Kurylewicz - I won't stay with You (see the edit note above)
4. John Wolf Brennan Triangulation - Inner and outer spaces
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
10. 10. Nina Simone - Revolution
11. David Fathead Newman (as a sideman to Hank Crawford) - Sister Sadie
12. John Wolf Brennan Triangulation - Space Bar
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

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

John Wolf Brennan - Triangulation : Whirligigs [Leo]

Bruno Amstad - voice, subcontrabass voice, loops
Christy Doran - electric & acoustic guitars, loops & fx
John Wolf Brennan - piano, organ, e-piano, clavinet, melodica, accordion & indian harmonium
Patrice Heral - percussion, loops, voice

Leo Records 2010

After a series of reviews concerning very serious music, big orchestras, whole sections of strings, modern chamber sensibiltiy etc. this one serves as a great antidote.

Call it a mash-up, call it eclectic, call it whatever you like, this is one of the strangest mix I've heard in a while.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Jazz Alchemist radio with Andrzej Przybielski

Tomorrow at 8pm (cet) I'm waiting for you on with another portion of music. Becasue of the recent death of Andrzej Przybielski, his music will constitute the big part of the playlist (did you know that it is his trumpet playing used as the jingle of the program?). Also we'll remember birthday ofNancy Wilson (with a couple of love ballads for the St. Valentine's Day) and such distinguished musicians like Henry Threadgill, Nicole Mitchell, Fred Firth, with focus on their composer's work.

As always, detailed tracklist will be posted here during the program. Tune in! Waiting for you also on the facebook chat.

1. Andrzej Przybielski - Afroblue
2. Nicole Mitchell Black Earth Ensemble - Afrika Rising Trilogy part II - Metamorphosis (Nicole's birthday on 17th Feb)
3. Henry Threadgill - Come carry the day (Henry's birthday on 15th)
4. Sing Sing Penelope & Andrzej Przybielski - W Arce
5. Fred Firth - Song and Dance (played by ROVA Quartet) (Fred's birtdhay on 17th)
6. Andrzej Przybielski - Afroblue II
7. Nancy Wilson / Cannonball Adderley - Never will I marry (Nancy's birthday on 20th)
8. The Switters Trio - Theory of Conspiracy (Gianni Gebbia and Francesco Cusa were supposed to play this week in Krakow, concerts were cancelled but it's no reason to not play those pieces :) )
9. The Switters Trio - New Middle Age Walkin'
10. Nicole Mitchell Black Earth Ensemble - Wondrous Birth
11.Henry Threadgill Very Very Circus - Too much sugar
12. SBB & Andrzej Przybielski - Dwie Pogody cz.2
13. Fred Firth - Water under the bridge (played by ROVA Quartet)
14. Andrzej Przybielski - Ride
15. Nancy Wilson / Cannonball Adderley - Save Your Love For Me
16. Henry Threadgill Very Very Circus - Try Some Ammonia
17. Czeslaw Niemen & SBB & Andrzej Przybielski - Inicjaly

Chlopcy Kontra Basia Trio at Lokator (12.02)

I wrote recently about this group here (although the previous performance was done in a duo setting) so just a quick resume.

Jazzed up and hip and modern take on folk tradition with voice / bit of clarinet, bass, percussion. Groovy and catchy bass lines, witty and sexy folk-culture-inspired lyrics (surprising how the 'folk' and 'sexy' can be used in the same sentence). Compared to a duo performance, this did have more kick, more drive to it, very high foot-tapping factor. It is after all, in the essence, drum & bass music and drum&bass drumming is sped up funk rhythm.  The repertoire essentially the same as on the last concert so no point in repeating myself about it, just check the other post. Folk can be fun folks. And it is quite refreshing.

Basia Derlak - voice, clarinet
Marcin Nenko - double bass
Tomasz Waldowski - percussion set, piano

Lokator, Krakow; 12.02.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Trio Brain + Bartlomiej Chmara at Alchemia (11.02)

Brain Trio
Mateusz Walerian - alto sax
Sławomir Janicki - double bass
Qba Janicki - drums and percussion, no valve trumpet

Bartlomiej Chmara - guitar

Alchemia, Kraków; 11.02.2011

I've been concert hungry for a while and this concert I was looking forward to. Qba (Kuba) Janicki made a great impression playing with Rafal Mazur Electro-Acoustic Quartet, Slawomir Janicki is a strong presence of Bydgoszcz and Tri-city scene since the yass revolution. Mateusz and Bartlomiej I did not know before. 

The concert was dedicated to Andrzej Przybielski who passed away two days before and it started with an array of small bells, introducing the meditative atmosphere, joined by drones and ambient, blurried background noises by guitar, and lots of small repetitions by sax and bass. Long notes, slow lines, somehow esoteric, and the sonic palette is augmented with the brass sound, reinforcing the Przybielski reference. The concert is divided into two extended improvisations, changing often between otherwordly mood and energetic drive. 

Janicki is towering over the group, both with his huge posture behing the double bass and musical experience, his tone is deep, raw, his playing powerfull, whether it's a simple repetitive three-notes base or speedy free walking. His solo, played with both hands clapping all over the strings as much as on the body of the instrument, somehow reminded me of the passion of flamenco music, probably the most impressive singular statement of the night. Qba Janicki has a very rebelious look and attitude, his playing subtle and impressionistic during the slower parts, but his direct, energetic and punk-driven beats moves the group through most captivating ensemble playing of the night. Mateusz Walerian is a new name for me, his tone is light and sweet, his playing warm, very melodic, while not being afraid of some tone and timbre explorations. Fresh and inspiring is the contrast between the free-jazz boiling section behind him and his cool, thoughtfull lines and very jazz phraseology, moving from blues, bebop, free-bop up to some not too extreme free improv. Bartlomiej Chmara's presence is the most problematic, his playing, mostly experimental, provides interesting ambient textures to more pensive moments, his full of noise effects solo intriguing, yet the electronic effects often disturb the cohesity of the ensemble's sound. I'm surprised myself to say this but I'd like less experimental attitude, more punk-rock kick with the guitar.

Overall, really good performance, and very promising talents, which makes me proud of young polish improvising scene, and I hope to hear more from these musicians soon.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Szilard Mezei - Mint Amikor Tavasz [Not Two]

Mint Amikor Tavasz

Szilard Mezei - viola, double bass

Not Two 2009

While both his recent releases (orchestral double cd "Bot" also on Not Two, quartet lp "February Fadontes" on No Business") are really good, I decided to get back to his solo outing which I feel is something really special.

Szilard Mezei, both as composer and performer, manages to create link between folk melodies and sophisticated avant-jazz or chamber methods and strategies of composition and execution. Here, in a solo setting, his musical vision is displayed as clearly as ever.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Jazz Alchemist Radio with Szilard, Joelle, Joe and others

I'm waiting for you with some music at 8 pm (CET) at and to chat with you through the facebook account (jazzowy alchemik or
I will present some excerpts from the just reviewed Joelle Leandre double cd on Leo. And then we will celebrate birthdays of such artists like Joe Maneri, Szilard Mezei, Glenn Spearman, Okay Temiz.

1. Szilard Mezei Trio - Dance, Bad Woman (Szilard's birthday on 12th; I will try to write about couple of his recent cds this week)
2. Joe Maneri - Sopra (Joe's birthday on 9th)
3. Glenn Spearman / William Parker / Paul Murphy - East (Glenn's birthday on 14th)
4. Joelle Leandre Tentet - excerpt around from recently reviewed cd (check previous post)
5. Szilard Mezei Trio - March
6. Joe Maneri - Paniots Nine
7. Szilard Mezei - Road of Fool
8. Joelle Leandre Tentet - excerpt
9. Joelle Leandre Trio - excerpt (check previous post)
10. Don Cherry - Orient (with Okay Tamiz - birtdahy on 11th)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Joelle Leandre Tentet / Trio - Live at the "Ulrichsberger Kaleidophon" [Leo]

Tentet - Can You Hear Me

Joelle Leandre - double bass; Sussana Gartmayer - alto saxophone, bass clarinet; Boris Hauf - tenor saxophone, clarinet; Lorenz Raab - trumpet; Bert Mutter - trombone; Burkhard Stangl - electric guitar; Thomas Wally - violin; Elaine Koene - viola; Melissa Coleman-Zielasko - cello; Kevin Norton - vibes, percussion

Joelle Leandre - double bass
John Tilbury - piano
Kevin Norton - vibes, percussion

Leo Records 2011

It's a silly thing really, but I'm always excited when I get to have the first cd of the new year, and this is the first 2011 released record I listened to. And I can begin by saying that this double cd, part of celebration of Joelle's 60th birthday, is a great start to, hopefully, another year full of new and exciting music

Friday, February 4, 2011

Kayo Dot / Jeremiah Cymerman (interview) at Klub Re (29.01.2011)

Saturday at Klub Re, rounding up a small, three concerts tour in Poland, played Kayo Dot (a band I've never heard about before) with Jeremiah Cymerman (whose "Under a Blue Grey Sky" I recently reviewed).
The music was weird, anything from orchestrated ambient (two saxes, trumpet, clarinet and electronics) up to heavy high-screaming metal (with two guitars and a keyboard). First set mixed idyllic passages with mellow and moody songs (enormous delay on the mic makes the voice sound unhuman, uneasy), played almost entirely without the drums, it finishes with a thunderous drums solo (which reminds me immediately about the difference about jazz and rock drumming - it's all power and speed and the kicking bass drum is massaging my stomach). With Jeremiah adding his touch (extended techniques and lo-fi static noises). He sits out for the second set.
Once again I have to say it -weird music. With metal and ambient, and nicely arranged horns section, strange vocal. A music that is full of contrasts and torn apart between high-pitched singing and heavy bass. You can hear there darkness, heavy, jazz-rock (little jazz in it), ambient, echoes of grunge. Kayo Dot does to metal what Zappa did to rock, but with Dead Can Dance sense of humour (meaning none of it) - as the delayed vocal resonates like we were in an empty church, adding extra-temporal dimension to the music. Kinda freaky and quite disturbing, definitely very interesting, although not exactly my cup of coffee.

Stiil the main reason for me to be there was a chance to meet Jeremiah Cymerman and I did a short interview with him - here's what I asked about and what he said:
(it might take a moment before the players load, if any file is not working, please let me know)

1. First thing that came up (before the interview actually started) were Jeremiah's polish roots so I asked him to tell more about it:

2. I asked also about the origins of "Under a Blue Grey Sky" - a piece originally commissioned by Roulette, the release that got me introduced to his music.

3. With a lot of electro-acoustic improvisation, a classical string-quartet composition and collaboration with bands like Kayo Dot under his belt Jeremiah is crossing a lot of boundaries. The question was - are there any musical barriers left in New York music scene?

4. New York, New York. About its influence on Jeremiah - both on personal and artistic levels. Does the city create more opportunities or competition?

5. About how do the electro- and -acoutic elements relate to each other in his work

and a follow up to the question - whether electronic enhancement is Jeremiah's way of finding a personal voice on the instrument.

6. A performing improviser, but also a composer. How does the composing and improvising elements relate?

7. About his influences on clarinet.

8. About the music he listens to.

and whether it is mainly what would commonly be called 'sad' music (both "Under a Blue Grey Sky" and the music played by Kayo Dot are not particularly joyful) [although my theory was just disproven earlier with the mention of Beach Boys]

when I asked whether it could be about discharging those emotions, Jeremiah continues:

and that's all folks :)
many thanks to Jeremiah for the interview (hope I did ok for the first time) and to Luke Mosling from Porter Records who put me in touch with him.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

El Intruso Poll 2010 Final Results

While I'm trying to update the Jeremiah Cymerman interview I wanted to let You know that the final results of El Intruso 2010 Poll in which I participated are at last available (links to posts with my votes and commentary can be found on the top right spot)

Critics' Poll

Musicians' Poll

(sorry for less updates recently on the blog but I've been having a guest, the Jeremiah's interview is already edited and should be posted this evening I hope, at least one review is coming by the end of the week)