Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Mikołaj Trzaska at Alchemia (29.11)

It was a final concert of this the 6th edition of Autumn Jazz Festival in Krakow and a worthy closure to a series a great concerts. Mikolaj's music has been an important part of Alchemia's jazz stage for as long as I remember and a festival without his performance would feel somehow incomplete.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Conference Call Quartet at Alchemia (28.11)

Gebhard Ullmann
Conference Call Quartet, an American-German cooperation, is a band that likes to play in Krakow. Their concert from 2007 yielded a double cd ("What About..?" on Not Two records) that received a general acclaim. And deservingly so, I might add.
The music they play is filled with subtle lyricism, tricky boppish lines, infectious grooves, free jazz energy. They can equally play a heavy post-hard-boppish number, or a lushfull ballad that becomes a transcendental musical meditation. Or a spirited blues (which they do as an encore). 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Jazz Alchemist radio with Paul Motian and others

Paul Motian. Photo by Bernhard Lay. More photos here.
Tomorrow (Monday, 28.11) takes place the last concert of this year's Autumn Jazz Festival, thus there won't be any live program, but a pre-made playlist is ready to be uploaded directly on mixcloud. For those who can't attend the live event, couple of pieces by the Conference Call Quartet will be played

Apart from that, we'll continue our run through the cds reviewed during the summer, including "Consort in Motion" cd by Samuel Blaser where Paul Motian appeares. I guess, by this point, the sad news have reached everyone interested in jazz. Paul Motian passed last week, on 22.11., he was a true inspiration for musicians and listeners alike, he will be missed.

Hans Reichel playing daxophone.
Photo by Peter Gannnushkin
Unfortunately only once the program was ready and made, arrived another sad news - Hans Reichel - a truly original guitarist and an inventor of daxophone passed away also on 22.11. He doesn't appear in the playlist but let it be dedicated also to his memory

Paul Motian
Hans Reichel

R. I. P.

The mixcloud player and the playlist will appear below some time in the evening tomorrow. Come back and enjoy.

1. Conference Call Quartet -Quiet
2. Samuel Blaser, Paul Motian, Russ Lossing, Thomas Morgan - Passacaglia (from "Consort in Motion")
3. Szilard Mezei Wind Quartet - Innen (Black Cat) (from "Innen")
4. Conference Call Quartet - Translucent Tones
5. Ivo Perelman Quaret - The Hour of the Star (from "The Hour of the Star")
6. Samuel Blaser, Paul Motian, Russ Lossing, Thomas Morgan - Ritornello (from "Consort in Motion")
7. Jon Corbett's Dangerous Musics - The Lash (from "Kongens Gade")
8. Ivo Perelman Quartet - Singing the Blues (actually played by a pianoless trio, also from "The Hour of the Star")
9. Conference Call Quartet - What About...?
10. Samuel Blaser, Paul Motian, Russ Lossing, Thomas Morgan - Il Ritorno d'Ulisse in Patria (from "Consort in Motion")
11. Aram Bajakian's Kef - La Rota (from "Kef")

(edit: unfortunately I was asked to remove Samuel Blaser's recording from the mixcloud, the list above presents what was aired originally, track 2,6 and 10 were edited out from the mixcloud upload below)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Andrzej Przybielski - Sesja Open [MOK]

Andrzej Przybielski - trumpet, flugelhorn
Yuriy Ovsyannikov - alto saxohpoe, soprano saxophone
Grzegorz Nadolny - double bass
Grzegorz Daron - drums

Miejski Osrodek Kultury w Bydgoszczy 2011
(City Culture Institute in Bydgoszcz)

Andrzej Przybielski was an undersung giant of polish jazz scene. He released only one album as a leader during his lifetime ("Abstract" on Not Two records with Oles brothers rhythm section). It's kind of ironic that he has now already three post mortem albums ("De Profundis" one of them). Not that it's bad thing, rather the opposite.
While Przybielski never cared this much for recording dates, this one is different, as he tried to get his Asocjacja band's music documented. When the recording opportunity came along the Asocjacja session was jeopardized since Karol Szymanowski (vibraphone) a member of the band coulnt' show up, It would be pointless though to cancel the studio hours, Yuriy Ovsyannnikov was asked to join the band and that's how this music become recorded.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Anderskov Accident - Full Circle [ILK]

Anderskov Accident:

Kasper Tranberg - trumpet, flugelhorn
Laura Toxvaerd - alto sax
Mads Hyhne - trombone
Jacob Anderskov - wurlitzer
Nils Davidsen - bass
Tom Rainey - drums

ILK Records 2011

If you haven't yet heard Jacob Anderskov it's high time to make up for that and this album is a great possibility to do this. Joined by Tom Rainey, Anderskov Accidents gathers together some of the finest members of danish improvised music scene, to create work of unique vision and youthfull energy.

Within Jacob Anderskov's vision various aesthetics and moods coexist and dialect with each other. Frenetic and lyrical, joyfull and mourning, dark, eerie and light. I have to say I really enjoy the sound of wurlitzer and in Anderskov's hands this instrument is a powerfull tool equally capable of destructive energy and delicate finesse. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Dennis Gonzalez & Wojtek Mazolewski Double Trio at Literki (22.11)

I love trios, but a double trio doubles the fun, even more to love. Unfortunately Jerzy Rogiewicz's drums set was absent (best wishes to get healthy) but a quintet with two basses is still a neat treat. Let me skipp the beginning and go straight to the third set of the evening when the two bands joined forces.

They hit the stage hard with a powerfully struck note and leave space for the first solo by Marek Pospieszalski on tenor, ferocious playing, fiery, passionate, on edge. Pospieszalski's quickly becoming one of the premier saxophone forces of polish scene, and while he's playing at times is still a bit cocky, he has chops, he has immagination and youthfull energy, and what he plays belies his young age. 
The double bass duo works some wonders, Mazolewski counters Aaron's strong walking with long arco notes, or joins him in creating a dense net. Stefan Gonzalez's drumming is just insane. Ritually, tribally powerfull, speedy as in hardcore metal, he means business. Dennis's trumpet is his usual clear and sweet joy.
The next pieces show what Dennis is  known for, compositions filled with infectious grooves, bass lines that make your foot tap, your head sway rhythmically, your face smile. Music where african, latin, american roots live together. Music that is clearly enjoed to play (guys can't stop smiling on stage) and to listen to (the audience's applauding each solo). 
Dennis Gonzalez's music, while never loosing its spiritual depth and adventurous edge, is accessible, communicative, vibrantly live, entertaining even. It's an experience one truly enjoys to share, proven by the young crowd filling the place and enthusiastically reacting to the music. Near the end of the encore, with just a steady base laid on the bass, everyone joins a joyfull feast of rhythmic clapping. Beautifull music for body and soul.
Can't wait to hear the results of the studio session in Radio Gdańsk from yesterday, with the complete double trio.

once again best wishes of coming back to health to Jerzy Rogiewicz (drummer in Wojtek Mazolewski's trio) who couldn't play his part because of a car accident. He's ok though. 

Dennis Gonzalez - trumpet, cornet, pocket trumpet
Aaron Gonzalez - double bass
Stefan Gonzalez - drums
Wojtek Mazolewski - double bass
Marek Pospieszalski - tenor sax, basset horn

Literki. Krakow. 22.11.2011

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Ken Vandermark - Mark in the Water [Not Two]

Ken Vandermark - tenor sax, Bb clarinet, bass clarinet

Not Two 2011

This Ken Vandermark's second solo cd (the first one - "Furniture Music" was released on Okka in 2003). 10 pieces of music selected from the concert he played on November 29th of 2010 in Alchemia. I've been there, I've written about it and I still remember that evening.
Quite often when you hear a live record of a concert you loved you get disapointed, without the aura of the stage, without the sense of community between the artist and the audience, the magic, the energy is gone and the recording seems just "ok".  Well, this is not the case.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Jazz Alchemist radio with what was supposed to be played last week :)

Trevor Watts and Veryan Weston at Alchemia.
photo by Krzysztof Penarski
It's been a bit rough week for me (missed two great concerts - Ab Baars Trio with Fay Victor and Vincent Chancey and Veryan Weston / Trevor Watts duo = never been so mad while being sick) but I'm getting back on my legs and back on the track with some new posts for the blog. 

Tomorrow, usually, we would celebrate the birthday of Jimi Hendrix (27.11), but since we inversed the time and did that last monday (check the post, listen to and enjoy the playlist) we'll go (meaning: I will and I hope you will like it) with what was supposed to be presented last week which is basically running through the cds reviewed during the summer. No particular topic for this evening but lyrical and neoclassical/chamber spaces will be strongly present.

Tune in to at 8 pm CET, join me on facebook chat. The plalist will be posted below, as the mixclould player once the program is done and uploaded. Hope you'll like it.

1. Fattigfolket - Lohrpark (from "Park")
2. Achim Kaufmann - Elephant and Boats (from "Verivyr")
3. Henrik Munkeby Norstebo - Solo 10 (from "Solo")
4. Lisa Mezzacappa & Nightshade - Delphinus (from "Cosmic Rift")
5. Ig Henneman Setet - Moot (from "Cut a Caper")
6. Mikolaj Trzaska - Sitting on a Warm Stone (from the Reed Trio - "Last Train to the First Station") - Mikolaj plays solo this Wednesday in Alchemia.
7. Szilard Mezei - Outlaw Drinks from Tap (from "Tisza")
8. Trevor Watts & Veryan Weston - falTWOrm (from "5 More Dialogues")
9. Achim Kaufmann - Berlin No Lights (as above)
10.  Ig Henneman Sextet - Brain and Body (as above)
11. Lisa Mezzacappa & Nightshade - Alvamel's Dream (as above)
12. Fattigfolket - Innocentia Park (as above)
13. Undivided - Moves Between Clouds (from "Moves Between Clouds")

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Metamorphic - The Rock Between [F-ire]

Laura Cole - piano, rhodes, composer, arranger
Chris Williams - alto sax
John Martin - tenor, soprano sax
Kerry Andrew - vocal, loops
Tom Greenhalgh - drums, percussion
Paul Sandy - double bass
Shabaka Hutchings - bass clarinet (just the title track)

F-ire presentes 2011

If you don't know the names above and (as I am myself) you're always interested hear new music no matter the authorship this album comes easily recommended. "The Rock Between" is, as written on the cover, "music about a journey through RSI, depression, recovery and motherhood". Extremely personal but also simply an universal story of recovering from the past.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The blog is officially 1 year old!!! :)

16.11.2010 - that's the date of the first post. The blog is now officially one year old and I'd like to express my eternal gratitude to all the readers supporting it and all the musicians and labels for the music they create/produce/release.

This is the 204th post on the blog. Among those previous 203 you can find
82 cd reviews (with a total of 84 cds presented)
68 after-concert posts
34 radio playliststs
plus some 'general' infos and 'best of 2010' lists

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Jazz Alchemist radio with a lot (kind of postponed, read below for details)

Waclaw Zimpel and Michael Zerang (yesterday at Alchemia)
photo by Krzysztof Penarski
I'll still be trying to present the albums reviewed during the radio summer break. There won't be any clear unifying theme this time although the lyrical moods and/or neo-classical inspirations will be heavily featured.

We start tomorrow (Monday) at 8 pm CET on and I'll be waiting for you on facebook chat as usual.

The other news is that I've just finished an interview with Waclaw Zimpel, I'm very excited about it and (although I'm not sure yet when exactly) it will be posted on the blog in the near future.

The playlist and mixcloud player will appear below:

Ok (Edit:), due to the slight stomach issues the live playlist for today is cancelled and postponed till next week. However I'll upload for your listening pleasure a program from the archives that is almost one year old and thus, jumping one week ahead of us, we'll celebrate birthdays of Jimi Hendirx, Coleman Hawkins and Scott Joplin. Here's the original post.

Here's the playlist:

1. Augusti Fernandez & Barry Guy - Annalisa
2. Coleman Hawkins - Chant (Coleman's birthday on 21.11)
3. Ab Baars Trio with Ken Vandermark - Goofy June Bug (Ab Baars birthday also on 21st and he's playing this week in Krakow :)
4. Mina Agossi Trio - 3rd Stone from the Sun (Jimi Hendrix britdhay on 27.11)
5. Ray Anderson Pocket Brass Band - The Pineapple Rag (birthday of Scott Joplin on 24.11)
6. Thelonious Monk - Ruby, My Dear (Coleman again with smoky tone :)
7. Gato Barbieri - Tango (from 'Last Tango in Paris") (Gato's birthday on 28.11)
8. Fredy Studer, Christy Doran, Django Bates with Phil Minton - Manic Depression
9. Mary LaRose, Jeff Lederer, Steve Swell, Dominic Duval - The Wind Cries Mary
10. Air (Henry Threadgill, Fred Hopkins, Steve McCall) - Weeping Willow Rag
11. Barry Guy New Orchestra - Inscape-Tablaux part IV (including a beautiful, upscaled to orchestra arrangament of 'Odyssey')
12. Mina Agossi - Voodoo Chile
13. Peter Brotzmann, Mats Gustafsson, Paal Nilssen-Love - Bullets Through Rain
14. Medeski, Martin & Wood - Hey Joe

and here's the mixcloud player

Friday, November 11, 2011

Szilard Mezei Trio - Tisza [Slam]

Szilard Mezei - viola
Ervin Malina - double bass
Istvan Csik - drums

Slam Productions 2011

Only recently I appreciated Mezei's Wind Quartet release "Innen" on Ayler Records and here's another chance to get acquainted with his music. His long-time working trio is probably the most accessible musical context he works in and is a great point of introduction to Mezei's fusion of jazz and folk (with much less stress on his modern and classical interests shown clearly in the material composed for larger ensembles).

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Peter Brotzmann Japan Trio at Manghha (08.11)

Peter Brotzmann celebrates this year his 70th birthday and he's touring like crazy. Just finished a four day feast Music Unlimited in Wels (I checked the schedule - he performed with nine different projects during the festival). And arrived to Krakow with a trio that brings almost 210 years onto the stage. And he brings the house down. Uncomprimising, relentless and wild spirit he is. And always was.

I remember a couple of years back the first time I've seen Peter on stage. My mind was blown away. I was crushed. It felt like a combination of tank (heavy) and machine gun (loud and fast) just went over me. I was so excited that I couldn't sleep and went half into the night writing down my impressions*. Brotzmann's sound is powerfull and unique. Rusty, vibrating, rough, rugged, deep. Filled with passion and vitality.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Mingus on Mingus - Kickstarter Campaign

If you are visiting this blog, you probably have heard Charles Mingus's music. One of the greatest bass players in the history of jazz, one of its premier composers and band leaders also, a true innovator. A legendary, charismatic figure on and off the stage.
Mingus on Mingus project on kickstarter's goal is to gather funds to make possible a production of a documentary - Charles's grandson's attempt to preserve Mingus's Legacy before those who can tell his story are gone. I invite you to see the video below and support the project as much as you can. (follow the link to the project's kickstarter page or go to Orange Then Blue homepage to get more informations about the film).

an here's Charles Mingus with possibly his most famous group:

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Henrik Mukeby Norstebo - Solo [Creative Sources]

Henrik Munkeby Norstebo - trombone

Creative Sources Recordings 2011

Henrik Norstebo played in recently in Krakow with two fellow countrymen Adrian Myhr and Tomas Jarmyr. Non-musical circumstances didn't allow me to fully absorb the music but the playing was undeniably intriguing and Henrik Norstebo's contribution to music that evening was really inspiring. 

I always say a solo album is a risky thing. Too often it's a vain statement of virtuosity, an awe-inspiring performance (on given instrument) which is appreciated only by other musicians (who play on the instrument). This is definitely not the case.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Jazz Alchemist radio with saxophone

David S. Ware. photo from the official site.
The two recent radio playlists were focused on a special subject of chosing (musical humour and All Saints day). It's been a long while since the last 'regular' radio playlist (aired before the summer) and during that time a fair amount of 40 reviews has appeared on the blog. I'll try to gradually come back to at least some of those cds. 
Tomorrow, 8pm CET on I'll wait for you with a selection of music in where saxophone leads the way (in a duo, trio or a quartet). Beside the material from reviewed cds there will be also a spot for two giants of the horn: David S. Ware (born 07.11.1949 - best happy birthday wishes from fans from all over the world) and Peter Brotzmann (playing tuesday - 08.11 - in Krakow with special Japanese trio).

I hope to catch on facebook chat during the program. The playlist will appear below as will the mixcloud player once the show will be uploaded.

1. Brian Settles Central Union - Zui Quan (from "Secret Handshake")
2. Peter Van Huffel Quartet - Enghavevej (from "Like The Rusted Key")
3. Rob Wagner, Hamid Drake, Nobu Ozaki - Childhood Memory (from "Trio")
4. Frank Gratkowski & Hamid Drake - Well It's Complicated (from "Frank Gratkowski & Hamid Drake")
5. David S. Ware - Ganesh Sound (Happy Brithday David!!! ; version from NoBusiness LP "Live in Vilnius")
6. Brian Settles Central Union - Secret Handshake (same as above)
7. Rob Wagner, Hamid Drake, Nobu Ozaki - Penumbria (same as above)
8. Peter Van Huffel Quartet - Tangent (same as above)
9. Peter Brotzmann & Peeter Uuskyla - Ain't Got Money (Peter Brotzmann playing tomorrow in Krakow)
10. Brian Settles Central Union - Gardenia (same as above)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Marc Ducret - Tower, vol. 2 [Ayler]

Tim Berne - alto saxophone
Dominique Pifarely - violin
Tom Rainey - drums
Marc Ducret - electric guitar

Ayler Records 2011

The second volume of what is Marc Ducret's compositional effort inspired by Vladimir Nabokov's "Ada or Ardor" brings together a group of long time musical partners - Berne, Ducret and Rainey were playing together as Big Satan trio while Ducret and/or Rainey would also play in various Berne's group of the 90's and 00's (Bloodcount, Paraphrase, Science Friction, Hard Cell), Ducret played also in the Dominique Pifarely / Louis Sclavis Quartet as long ago as in 1992. Which is to say that those musicians are no strangers to each other and to the listeners alike.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Fattigfolket - Park [Ozella]

Gunnar Halle - trumpet
Hallvard Godal - sax, clarinet
Putte Johander - bass
Ole Morten Sommer - drums

Ozella Music 2011

 "Park" is already a third release from Swedish/Norwegian quartet (I admit I don't know the two previous ones - both released on danish ILK) and it's a concept album - a collection of 11 songs dedicated to/inspired by various parks that the band had a chance to visit during their tours. The green space, hidden inside the city serves as a place of creative refugee from the noise and fast tempo of modern life.
The Scandinavian jazz is commonly associated with the kind of fragile, cold ECM sound (inspired by the fjords), which is contraddicted by the explosive music played by the likes of Matts Gustafsson or Atomic band. Fattigfolket present yet another way as the 11 park-pieces (seven of them by Hallvard, three by Putte and one they share the credit for) all display a kind of melodic accessibility and warmth that don't fit neither the peacefulness of cold fjords nor the rebel explosion.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Alexey Kruglov - Identification [Leo]

Krugly Band:
Alexey Kruglov - alto & tenor saxophones, saxophones without mouthpieces, mouthpieces only, piano, prepared piano, block-flutes
Dmitry Denisov - bass
Vladimir Borisow - drums

Leo Records 2011

Not so long ago I wrote about Kruglov's album with Jaak Sooar trio "Karate" which was already his third album for Leo Records in barely over one year. Now, just a couple of months later, he's back to present what is to be he's most profound and monumental work as "Identification" presents a single 64-minute long  composition.
Kruglov explains in the liner notes how he used monogramic pattern (translating letters into the notes) to create some of the melodies that stay from musicians' names - a musical identification. Don't get discouraged though by the sheer length of the work or the teorethical premises.