Sunday, April 27, 2014

Krakow Concert Schedule 28.03 - 03.05 / Katowice Jazz Art / Pardon To Tu Marathon

Spring has come and one feels its presence in the air and in the number of concerts happening around.
Below the list of suggestions for Krakow but interesting events will take place also in:
Katowice for the JazzArt Festival (the program includes Dave Douglas & Uric Caine duo, Ellery Eskelin & Dave Liebman Quartet, Anouar Brahem, Kronos Quartet our own Dominik Wania Trio and more).
Pardon To Tu (not really a surprise, the place has become the busiest free-jazz stage in Poland last few seasons). On 28th and 29th the place will hold a mini-festival for the Pop Up magazine (among the musicians Peter Evans and Rapahel Roginski). Between 04.05 and 07.05 the place will be visited by The Thing (2 nights), John Dilkeman and Switchback.

28.03 Sir Richard Bishop at Klub Re
It's not often you get to meet a member of upper class on stage. Sir Richard Bishop's music is for guitar lovers. Not the rock'n'roll, fusion kind of fireworks though. It's minimal, melancholic and focused on mood rather the fingers' speed.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Krakow Concert Schedule 21-27.04 / Lublin Jazz Festival

The Easter is (almost) over and it's time to come back to Krakow for some live music. The main event for the week is the 17th birthday of the Harris Piano Jazz Bar that will be celebrated for a few evenings with Pawel Kaczarczyk's Directions in Music projects.
I also recommed a visit to Lublin, if possible, for the VIth edition of the Lublin Jazz Fest. Especially the Saturday part of the program seems extremely tempting (Satoko Fuji Orchestra) while the biggest star of the festival - Ravi Coltrane - closes the weekend.

Harris Piano Jazz Bart 17th Birithday with Pawel Kaczmarczyk Directions in Music:
24.04. Tribute to Eric Dolphy with Maciej Obara
25.04 Tribute to Dexter Gordon with Piotr Baron
26.04 Tribute to Elis Regina with Maria Alban Juarez

Directions in Music is a series of projects led by Pawel Kaczmarczyk, designed to honor music of some of the most important figures in jazz history, in special, often very surprising arrangements, each edition is featuring a different band and a special guest. The three concerts (the fourth, dedicated to Hancock's Headhunters is taking place next weekend) will present quite a spectrum of jazz histroy. My bet is the most adventurous will be the concert with Maciej Obara but some classy bop and bossa nova should turn out fun as well.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Happy Jazzy Easter 2014

Hans Memling - Scense from the Passion of the Christ (ca 1470)
I wish everyone a peaceful time on the upcoming holidays. May the family, friends and good spirit stay with you. Obviously with good spirit comes good music as well.

I believe any true art is spiritual in a way but I'll take the occasion to re-post a playlist from some time ago, focusing on music with some sort of religious theme and inspiration. I hope you'll enjoy it.

1. Marilyn Crispell Trio - Dear Lord
2. Dennis Gonzalez & Ingebrigt Haker Flaten - Jeg Rade Vil Alle I Ungdommens (from "The Hymn Project")
3. Piotr Baron Quartet with Wadada Leo Smith - Krzyzu Swiety (O Holly Cross) (from "Salve Regina")
4. Hera (Zimpel/Postaremczak/Wojcinski/Szpura) - Monreale (from "Hera")
5. Ingebrigt Haker Flaten & Hakon Kornstad - Ak, Mon Jeg Staar I Naade
6. Dennis Gonzalez & Ingebrigt Haker Flaten- Eg Veit I Himmerik Ei Borg (from "The Hymn Project")
7. Peter Gabriel - A Different Drum
8. Undivided - Droga Krzyzowa , Ukrzyzowanie, Smierc (Crossroad, Crucifixion, Death) (from "Passion")
9. Ingebrigt Haker Flaten & Hakon Kornstad  - For Himmerigs Land Maa Man Kje
10. The Light (Zimpel/Traczyk/Rasz) - J20, 19-23
11. Piotr Baron Quartet with Wadada Leo Smith - Ja Jestem Zmartwychwstanie (I am The Resurrection)(from "Salve Regina")
12. Undivided - Zmartwychwstanie (Resurrection) (from "Passion")
13. Joachim Mencel Trio - Ezechiel

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Cassandra Wilson at Kijow Centrum (13.04 Starzy i Mlodzi Festival)

While the festival Starzy i Mlodzi celebrated its 20th anniversary, Cassandra Wilson, undisputedly the biggest star of this year edition, celebrated the 20th anniversary of the "Blue Light 'Til Dawn".

You kinda know what to expect from a concert like this, there's not much element of surprise, but there's plenty of musical pleasures to enjoy. Most of the vocal stars wannabes think that the important thing is to hit the high notes with ease. Cassandra's voice is low and smooth, her singing seduces, dark and silky, focusing on a emotional depth of the song and not the effective but trivial ornaments.  And the less instruments are filling the background, the better her bluesy voice sounds.

I wouldn't mind in fact that the whole concert would be played by her with Brandon Ross (absolutely precious slide, rural blues sound on the acoustic guitar) and Lonnie Plaxico (noble and groovy). They way the three played the encore "Strange Fruit" was absolutely electrifying (although played acoustically). O the of the many highlights was as well the silky and seductive "You don't know what love is", for the most part a vocal - guitar duo.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

MMW + Nels Client at Manggha (12.03) / Krakow Concert Schedule 13-20.04

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

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

The Peggy Lee Band - Invitation [Drip Audio]

The Peggy Lee Band:
Brad Turner - trumpet and flugelhorn
Jon Bentley - tenor saxophone
Jeremy Berkman - trombone
Peggy Lee - cello
Ron Samworth - electric, acoustic and 12-string guitars
Tony Wilson - electric guitar
Andre Lachance - electric bass
Dylan van der Schyff - drums and percussion

Drip Audio 2012

We've spent over a month in sunny Italy, we're going now to Vancouver but have no fear - the weather stays bright and warm and it's because The Peggy Lee Band invites us for a musical journey back to Africa.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Krakow Concert Schedule 07-13.04

Quite a packed week ahead of as, including the Starzy i Mlodzi (Old and Young - Jazz in Krakow) festival with especially delicious looking weekend schedule.

08.04. The Sleeping Tree at Alchemia
(also 10.04 at Pracownia pod Baranami)
Sleeping Trio is Giulio Frausin with a collection of intimate acoustic songs. Happy and sad, touching and delicate. Music for a soothing evening.

09.04 Free Cooperation at Piec'ART
Free Cooperation was on the rather monotonous scene of 80s polish jazz sign of a new wave coming. Fresh, energetic, wild. Big band, with elements of free, fusion as well as folk or reggae. The group disbanded in 1988 after their second release and now it's back, with the veterans (Ziut Gralak, Yanina, Mateusz Pospieszalski, Alek Korecki, Bronek Duzy, Henryk Gembalski, Marcin Pospieszalski, Wojtek Czajkowski) will be joined by some yung cats. I've no idea how this many people will fit on Piec'ART stage but it will be most definitely interesting to see whether the group will rise triumphantly from the ashes.

10.04 Bartek Pieszka Quartet at Harris Piano Jazz Bar
I remember couple years back during Krakow Jazz Juniors, otherwise blant and uneventful, one duo caught my ear and it was Bartek Pieszka on vibraphone with Nikola Kolodziejczyk on piano. The music they played was melodic, rich and colorful. It had cinematic quality, it engaged listener in a telling of a mysterious story. 

10.04 Straight Prezidents Show - Gonzo and the Presidents / Straight Jack Cat at Alchemia
Two young bands that are just a presentation of a much wider phenomenon. Loud, noisy and dirty rock'n'roll is thriving in Poland and guitars are surfing musical waves.

12.04 Medeski, Marin & Wood with Nels Clien at Manghha (Starzy i Mlodzi Festival)
one of the baddest hippiest and grooviest trios around with Nels Cline, there will be a lot of fun no doubt, in the meantime I'm listening to the funky tunes the group played with John Scofield, music with hight toe-tapping factor.

13.04 Cassandra Wilson at Mangghs (Starzy i Mlodzi Festival).
true lady of jazz. No introduction is needed I think. Standards, blues, folk tunes - whatever it will be, Cassandra's voice makes it sound good.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

New Jazz from Italy part 6 : Rara Avis - Mutations / Multicellulars Mutations [dEN Records]

Rara Avis:
Stefano Ferrian - soprano/tenor saxophone
Ken Vandermark - baritone/tenor saxophone, Bb clarinet
Simone Quatrana - piano
Luca Pissavini - double bass
SEC_ - revox tape recorder, instant sound treatment

dEN Records 2013

Blog's followers should already be famiar with the the names of Stefano Ferria, Simone Quatrana and Luca Pissavini (all three are playing in Ferrian's Nutimbre, Luca Pissavini appears as well on the Nido Workshop cd). I believe Ken Vandermark needs no introduction whatsoever to anyone even vaguely interested in improvised music. The same can't be said about band's electronic tinker SEC_ was only introduced to me through this cd (an group's concert in Alchemia last year). 

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

New Jazz from Italy part 5: N. Gerold, N. Guazzaloca, S. Giust - Transition [Setola di Maiale]

Nils Gerold - flute
Nicola Guazzaloca - piano
Stefano Giust - drums

Setola Di Maiale 2012

Another fine free improvised music trio from Bella Italia with Stefano Giust on drums (plays in a bit similar setting with MAGIMC), Nicola Guazzaloca on piano and Nils Gerold on flute. The last one is an instrument that rarely finds it's place in jazz music, amidst the muscular tones of saxophones its delicate tone can easily get lost. Obviously there are some luminous exceptions to that (Rahsaan Roland Kirk comes to mind immediately as well as Nicole Mitchell and, if bit less known, Mark Alban Lotz who appeared on the blog before).