This is an archival album presenting a live recording by a quintet led by pianist / composer Wojciech Majewski, which also included his brother trumpeter Robert Majewski, saxophonist Tomasz Szukalski, bassist Jacek Niedziela and drummer Krzysztof Dziedzic. The concert, which took place at a Polish Radio studio, was part of a promotion effort for the album “Zamyslenie”, recorded by the same quintet and released a few months earlier. For this release the album was enhanced by the inclusion of one original track from that album, which features the vocals of the incredible Grzegorz Turnau, a couple of solo piano pieces recorded by Wojciech Majewski a decade later and finally by a fragment of a historic radio broadcast, featuring the Polish Rock legend Czeslaw Niemen accompanied by Wojciech Majewski and Szukalski. The music was mostly composed by Wojciech Majewski, but includes also a composition by Niemen, a couple of compositions by the legendary Polish bard Marek Grechuta and one composition by the Godfather of modern Polish Jazz Krzysztof Komeda.
The music is, as expected, top notch from start to finish, and presents the peak of the second generation of the Polish Jazz scene, both on the instrumental and compositional levels. All five players are absolute masters of their respective instruments, but obviously the performances by Szukalski are at the centre of attention, as he is sadly no longer with us and this album emphasizes the incredible loss Polish Jazz suffered with his premature death. As such, this album is a great tribute to his talents.
Wojciech Majewski as a composer is in many respects the epitome of the mainstream Polish Jazz, encapsulating the lyricism, melancholy and exquisite melodies, which are its main characteristics. This album also shows how Polish Jazz, often within the Jazz & Poetry idiom, is interconnected with other aspects of the Polish Culture. The inclusion of works by Grechuta and Niemen are by no way incidental and emphasizes these intricate associations.
Overall this is a highly important release, not only as far as the beautiful music it presents, but also as a wonderful historic document shedding light on the Polish Jazz scene in particular and Polish Culture in general. The For Tune label deserves to be especially praised for this release, which no doubt is a very significant addition to the label´s catalog. I hope more releases of such character will follow.
This is an absolute must to all fans of Polish Jazz, but Jazz connoisseurs the world over should also enjoy this music immensely, as it knows absolutely no borders.
Adam Baruch – The soundtrack of my life
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