Great stuff from this legendary figure in Polish jazz! "Astigmatic" was one of Komeda's greatest compositions ever – an angular emotional workout that reminds us of the best late 50s work by Mingus, or of Jackie McLean's immediate pre-"new thing" sessions, like A Fickle Sonance. The track has a jaunty feel, with kind of a stop/start approach that moves inside and out, but always manages to swing at the right moments. Komeda and his group perform a 20 minute long live version of the track here – recorded at the Monmartre Jazz Club in Copenhagen – and they also play long versions of Komeda's "Kattorna" and "Svantetic", both excellent tracks as well. The group includes the legendary Tomasz Stanko on trumpet, Rune Carlsson on drums, and a young Michael Urbaniak on tenor. CD
Close matches: 10
2061 ... CD Astigmatic (Poland), 2022. New Copy ...
Fantastic work from EABS – a combo who continue to amaze us with the diversity of sounds they create, and the depth of feeling they can get from a mix of acoustic and electric instruments! There's maybe an even deeper spiritual vibe going on here than previous records – music that's not afraid to borrow some currents from the world of contemporary soul, yet still stays strongly in jazz territory overall – electric rhythms at some points, acoustic at others – blended with a range of wonderful keyboards from Marek Latarnik Pedziwiatr, next to trumpet from Jakub Kurek, and tenor and soprano sax from Olaf Wegier. The great tenorist Jan Ptaszyn Wroblewski guests on the track "A Farewell To Mother Earth" – and other tracks include "Lucifer", "Dead Silence", "Mystery Of Monolith", "Global Warning", "Ain't No Mercy", and "The Odyssey Of Dr Heywood Floyd". CD
Marianna ... CD Astigmatic (Poland), 2022. New Copy ...
Beautiful solo piano work from Marek Latarnik Pedziwiatr – a player you might know for his crucial contributions to the groups EABS and Jaubi – sounding very different and a lot more personal here on his own! Latarnik's touch on the piano is often very rhythmic and lyrical at the same time – less of the freer flights of Keith Jarrett improvisations, or the spacious tones of Bugge Wesseltoft in such a mode – and instead working in a way that uses the instrument to create these really wonderful cycles of sound – sometimes with a gentle pulse, sometimes with a much fuller flow! Titles include "Panna", "Glod", "Wspomienie", "Berlin", "Strach 1945", "Marta", and "Maradki". CD
A cinematic blend of electronics and percussion – served up in a way that every bit as evocative as a vintage soundtrack, especially work from the 80s action years – yet handled with a sonic richness that often surpasses music from that generation too! The group's a duo – and features Latarnik on keyboards and piano, an artist you may know from other great titles on the Astigmatic label – working in collaboration here with drummer Cancer G, who also plays some keyboards as well – as the pair craft these tracks that open up with all sorts of subtle shifts in tone, color, action, and life. Titles include "Minus 10 Celsius", "Nadeszia Zima", "Zamrozenie", "Zamiec", "Roztopy", "Ostatnia Taka Zima", and "Lawina". CD
Piotr Damasiewicz & Power Of The Horns Ensemble —
Polska ... CD Astigmatic (Poland), 2020. New Copy ...
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A fantastically bold breath of life from the contemporary Polish jazz scene – a record that begins with a sublime tribute to the great Billy Harper, then takes off into even more mindblowing territory as things move on! The group's led by trumpeter Piotr Damasiewicz, who created the record as a tribute to some of the best Polish modern jazz giants of decades past – but with a voice that's completely fresh, and very much his own – served up by a killer ensemble that features soaring horns, bold solo moments, and two different bassists holding down the core! The tunes instantly explode with color and life – hitting a rich spirit that marks Piotr as a musician we're going to keep our eye on in coming years – with other musicians who include Maciej Obara on alto, Adam Pindur on soprano, Pawel Niewiadomski on trombone, Gerard Lebik on tenor, and Dominik Wania on piano. Titles include "Billy", "Psalm For William Parker", "Polska I", and "Kleofas". CD
Yoni Mayraz is a pianist, but one who plays keyboards in modes that are much more than conventional jazz – and which instead really reflect the changes in the London scene where he's made his home in recent years! The record bristles with some of the best sort of creative inspirations we'd be likely to hear on a label like Brownswood or 22A – definitely jazz at the core, but with rhythms and instrumentation that really break past the usual format – as Yoni deftly blends his own keyboards with crackling live drums, driving basslines, tenor, flute, and trumpet – all used in these shifting, inventive progressions from track to track. This is cosmic creative jazz at its finest – with tracks that include "Palms", "The Master Wore A White Robe", "Pawnshop", "Painkillers", "As We Entered Jericho", "1999", "South Star", and "The Biggest Fear". CD
A really great take on the music of Sun Ra – served up by a group from the contemporary Polish scene – one who clearly have a strong influence from Ra and his Arkestra, but who also take the sounds in really great directions of their own! The group is maybe a bit heavier on keyboard work than some of the classic recordings – with piano, Fender Rhodes, synths, and moog playing a strong role throughout – amidst a duo of horns from Jakub Kurek on trumpet and Olaf Wegier on soprano, alto, and tenor – providing a leaner version of the sound that you'd hear from the Arkestra, but one that's also got a lot of focus and energy too. The record intersperses spoken bits by Ra in a really great way – and titles include versions of "Interstellar Low Ways", "Neo Project 2", "Trying To Put The Blame On Me", "UFO", "The Lady With The Golden Stockings", and "Brainville". CD
An incredible pairing of talents – one Polish group, one Pakistani – coming together here on a set that may well be the most impressive release on the completely wonderful Astigmatic label! We've loved their releases by both EABS and Jaubi, yet somehow together they've reached a sound that's even more uplifting and righteous than their work alone – using the keyboards and saxes of the first group with the sharper guitar and Indian percussion of the latter – to craft a sound that's got the globe-spanning sense of hope and joy that a project like this can foster. Titles include "Moon", "Madhuvanti", "Tomorrow", "Raise Your Hearts Drop Your Guns", "Strange Love", "Yesterday", "Whispers", and "Judgement Day". CD
There's nothing wooden about this music at all – as the album's one of the loosest, freest, liveliest sessions to ever come from the legendary trumpeter Tomasz Stanko – a performance that was originally done for Radio Bremen in 1972, and which is very different than most of his other albums from the time! The music here is all freely improvised, with a vibe that's at the headiest of the FMP generation – as Stanko's trumpet interacts with the tenor and flute of Janusz Muniak, bass of Bronislaw Suchanek, violin of Zbigniew Seifert, and drums of Janusz Stefanski – all players who are completely unbridled all the way through! If you only know Seifert from his mellower albums later in the 70s, he'll blow you away here – as, like a few other key musicians at the time, he's got a way of improvising on his instrument that matches the energy of a reedman – and which really adds a lot to the group. The set features six pieces, all improvised – issued here commercially for the first time ever, and a real revelation! CD
A record that's nicely lean and focused compared to some of the darker, moodier records from this Polish group – almost as if they've shaken out a few layers in the mix, and focused a bit more on some of the acoustic elements in their lineup! There's still plenty of the deep bass guitar lines that made previous records so bold – handled here by Wuja HZG – and Latarnik plays a range of keyboards that are both acoustic and electric – yet these are often offset by saxophone contributions from OlafSaxx, who himself brings in some keyboards too – almost using them with an understanding of how they balance his instrument. The group's completed by percussion from Cancer G, who brings in some beats as well – on titles that include "Ignorancja", "Umiar", "Chryja", "Hipokryzja", "Farmazon", and "Mitomania". CD
The spirits here are way more than Slavic – as Eabs continues its strong run of genre-breaking work in jazz – music that's often a bit hard to pin down as it moves through a range of sounds, styles, and sonic approaches! There's certainly some jazz at the core, but there's also a richer sense of the overall presence of the music – maybe that earlier experimental quality of ECM, but brought back into a fuller group, and nicely shaken of any sort of ECM pretense – with a vibe that's younger and more earnest to get their message across. A key part of their approach features some key sound effects from Spisek Jednego, who layers in all these organic elements – next to some fantastic keyboard contributions from Marek Pedziwiatar, reeds from Tenderlonious and Olaf Wegier, trumpet from Jakub Kurek, guitar from Vojto Monteur, drums from Marcin Rak, and bass from Pawel Stachowiak. Titles include "Sun Worship", "Sleza", "The Noon Witch", "Woodland Spirit", and "The Darkness". CD
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