Friday, August 22, 2014

Polish-Jazz blog provides media patronage for new album by Mikolaj Trzaska !!!

Rubin/Trzaska/Masel

Harold Rubin - clarinet
Mikolaj Trzaska - clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone
Nadav Masel - bass

Ten Chamber Kingdoms (2014)




By Adam Baruch

I consider myself blessed by the fact that during the past thirty years the legendary Israeli clarinetists/composer Harold Rubin chose me as the producer of his recordings and released them on my Jazzis record label. He is, after all, one of the most original and extraordinary Jazz/Improvised Music icons, not only in Israel but on a world scale. Rubin is one of those rare individuals, who never keep still in one place beyond a brief moment. He managed to continuously develop his music, leaving behind the limitations of the Jazz tradition, in complete disregard of styles, conventions and genres, creating his very own way of expressing his ideas. Following this path was for me and for people who listen to his music a truly spiritual experience. I have often invited other musicians to play with Harold and in retrospect those meetings turned out to be incredibly productive aesthetically, with this case being no exception.

Polish multi-reedist/composer Mikołaj Trzaska is a kindred spirit to Rubin in every respect. A rebel and a man who loves his artistic freedom beyond anything else, who is in a constant state of search for new musical experiences, Trzaska and his music are ideal partners to the Rubin phenomenon. The fact that they did not meet earlier is in fact astounding, and when I realized the symbiosis of their spirits, while listening in Poland to a concert by Trzaska, I decided to bring them together, as if ordered by higher powers. Luckily the meeting turned into reality much sooner than anybody expected and the result is documented herein.

Rubin invited to the studio a young Israeli bassist Nadav Masel, who turned out to be a superb partner to the two giants, as if he played with them since the beginning of times. Perhaps another divine intervention, but the resulting trio of musicians creating music together is simply phenomenal. Enjoy!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Singer Jazz Festival 2014 !!!


HERE IS THE NEW UPDATED AND EXPANDED VERSION OF THE PROGRAM:

Singer Jazz 2014 – Press Release / Program

The 11th edition of the Jewish Culture Festival - Singer's Warsaw 2014 will include, for the first time, a series of Jazz events presented under the "Singer Jazz" moniker, which are dedicated to the contribution by Jewish musicians and composers as well as Jewish Music motifs to the Jazz Art Form. Singer Jazz will last for four days between Monday August 25, 2014 and Friday August 29, 2014 and will present eleven events (see Program of Events).

Since the very early days of Jazz, which is now over 100 years old, Jewish musicians fulfilled a most prominent role in the development of the music as an Art Form. The intrinsic hardships of the Jewish People were in many respects often similar to those of the Afro-Americans, who created Jazz, and therefore it is hardly surprising that Jewish musicians were the largest ethnic / cultural group other than Afro-Americans to play Jazz and dedicate their lives to it.

Singer's Warsaw pays a tribute to these Artists, by presenting a wide variety of Jazz styles and forms, originating from many different countries, where Jewish Jazz is thriving and breaking new ground. Many great Polish Jazz musicians will also participate, playing concerts and informal jam sessions in clubs and smaller venues, presenting the theme of Jewish Jazz, which is experiencing a formidable Renaissance in Poland at the moment.

The Singer Jazz is directed by Adam Baruch, a world famous music critic, organizer, activist and personality, who is active on the music scene since several decades.

Singer Jazz 2014 – Program of Events:

1. Adam Baruch – The Soundtrack of My Life
(Monday 25.8.2014; 18.00; Austrian Culture Forum, Próżna 7/9)

Meeting with music critic and artistic director of Singer Jazz, Adam Baruch, where he talks about the story of his life-long affair with music in general and Jazz in particular. The meeting is hosted by Jazz Forum editor Paweł Brodowski.

2. Harold Rubin / Mikołaj Trzaska
(Monday 25.8.2014; 22.00; Pardon To Tu Club) – Opening Concert

Top Israeli and Polish avant-garde Jazz players, clarinetist Harold Rubin and multi-instrumentalist / composer Mikołaj Trzaska combine forces and present a new album they recorded together.

3. Harold Rubin – "Magnificent Failure"
(Tuesday 26.8.2014; 17.30; Mamele Club)

Screening of a documentary film about legendary Israeli musician Harold Rubin, directed by his daughter Jasmine Kainy, following by a meeting with the artist.

4. Oleś Brothers / Harold Rubin
(Tuesday 26.8.2014; 22.00; Pardon To Tu Club)

Top Polish Jazz duo of twin brothers Marcin Oleś and Bartłomiej "Brat" Oleś presents their new project called "Spirit of Nadir", original music based on Sephardic and other Jewish music themes and then improvises with legendary Israeli clarinetist Harold Rubin.

5. Daniel Zamir Quartet
(Wednesday 27.8.2014; 20.00; Jewish Theatre Big Hall)

Israeli saxophonist / composer Daniel Zamir, who is an orthodox religious Jew, plays modern Jazz firmly based in the Jewish traditional music. He is accompanied by a quartet of top Israeli Jazz players.

6. New Trio with Daniel Zamir & Jam Session with Polish Jazz musicians
(Wednesday 27.8.2014; 21.30; Pardon To Tu Club)

Brilliant Polish Jazz trio comprising of brothers: Jan Smoczyński – Hammond organ and Mateusz Smoczyński – violin and drummer Michał Miśkiewicz meet Israeli saxophonist Daniel Zamir and later on jam with additional Polish Jazz musicians.

7. "Sophie Tucker / Anna Held / Gilda Gray" – a lecture by Andrzej Krakowski
(Thursday 28.8.2014; 17.00, Austrian Culture Forum, Próżna 7/9)

Author and director Andrzej Krakowski tells the fascinating story of three American stage stars, which surprisingly all share a Polish / Jewish origin.

8. Kuba Stankiewicz Plays Victor Young
(Thursday 28.8.2014; 18.00; Nożyk Synagogue)

Distinguished Polish pianist / composer / educator Kuba Stankiewicz and his trio perform compositions by American (of Polish Jewish roots) composer Victor Young.

9. Lena Piękniewska – Lullabies for Eternal Sleep
(Thursday 28.8.2014; 21.00; Jewish Theatre Big Hall)

Polish vocalist Lena Piękniewska, accompanied by top Polish Jazz players presents a multi-media show dedicated to the Polish Jewry annihilated during the Holocaust.

10. Wojciech Jachna Trio / Harold Rubin – Closing Concert
(Thursday 28.8.2014; 22.30; Pardon To Tu Club)

Young Polish trumpeter Wojciech Jachna and his trio present their project of Jazz improvisations based on old Hassidic music and then improvise with legendary Israeli clarinetist Harold Rubin.

11. "The rebirth of the Jewish musical tradition in New Polish Jazz" – a discussion panel of leading Polish Jazz journalist and activists.
(Friday 29.8.2014; 19.30; Austrian Culture Forum, Próżna 7/9)

The meeting, chaired by Adam Baruch, will summarize the Singer Jazz 2014 events and the rebirth of the Jewish musical tradition, which is one of the central motifs of the New Polish Jazz scene in the last decade.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Michael Gibbs and the NDR Big Band - Back In The Days (2012) ***

Michael Gibbs and the NDR Bigband

Michael Gibbs - arrangements, conductor
Vladyslav Sendecki - piano (2-9)

Back In The Days (2012)





By John Kelman

Jazz may be filled with reharmonizations, reinventions and reimaginings of songs from across its entire history; few artists have, however, made their names solely as composers and arrangers. Relative youngsters like Maria Schneider, Vince Mendoza and Darcy James Argue's Secret Society have successfully shaped careers focused exclusively on the other side of the performance table, but when it comes to legacy artists, the name Gil Evans is the one that crops up more often than not—no surprise, given his classic work with trumpeter Miles Davis on albums like "Sketches of Spain" (Columbia, 1960). But there are others who've been shaping music for large ensembles in ways that are no less definitive and just as personal.

Michael Gibbs is one such figure. With far too many of his relatively few recordings as a leader out of print, "Back In The Days" serves as a welcome reminder that the nearly 75 year-old Gibbs is still with us, and still making terrific music. Collecting a dozen tracks from five sessions over the course of eight years (1995-2003), it's also a chance to recall why artists like vibraphonist Gary Burton, saxophonist Stan Getz and singer Norma Winstone have chosen to work with the composer/arranger over the half-century span of his career.

Born in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia), Gibbs' work in both the US and UK never achieved the same name recognition that Evans enjoyed on a broader scale, though if there is single period where he seemed to be on a career high, it was from 1970-75, when he released a series of albums, beginning with "Michael Gibbs" (1970) and the heralded "Tanglewood 63" (1971) (both on Deram), through to 1975's jazz-rock masterpiece, "The Only Chrome Waterfall Orchestra" (Bronze) and "Seven Songs for Quartet and Chamber Orchestra" (ECM) - the latter, his second full collaboration with Burton after 1974's even more eclectic "In the Public Interest" (Polydor).

With one look at the list of musicians recruited on these albums and later titles including "Big Idea" (Venture, 1988) and "Nonsequence" (Provocateur, 2001), it's clear that Gibbs has garnered respect rare amongst such an international bevy of players - in addition to Burton, also including bassist Steve Swallow, guitarists John Scofield, Bill Frisell and Philip Catherine, saxophonist Charlie Mariano and Bob Mintzer, and trumpeters Kenny Wheeler and Ian Carr. Few of "Back in the Days" Norddeutscher Rundfunk (NDR) Bigband members are big names, though fans of pianist John Taylor will recognize drummer Martin France on the 2003 date, while those who've followed guitaristJohn McLaughlin's 4th Dimension band will know drummer Mark Mondesir from a session in early 2002.

Still, with Burton in tow for three tracks from 1995 - including "Country Roads," an ambling blues co-written with Swallow that first appeared on the vibraphonist's "Country Roads & Other Places" (RCA, 1969) - there's at least some star power to attract those who need it, though every soloist from the five shifting lineups of Germany's NDR Bigband represented here is world class and worthy of attention. Gibbs' "Mosher" is a soft ballad that, in addition to an atmospheric solo from Burton, features Christof Lauer, the primary soloist on another ethereal Gibbs piece from a later date, the miniature tone poem "Antique", the tenor saxophonist blowing with surprising power and abandon to contrast with the compositions' more rarefied nature.

Burton's performances on "Country Roads" and, in particular, Gibbs' bright opener, "The Time Has Come," raise plenty of questions about who exactly defined the vibraphonist's late 1960s to mid-'70s recordings. The ultimate answer is, of course, a complicated one, clearly the confluence of a number of factors, ranging from Burton's own emergent voice; his empathetic relationship with Steve Swallow; his choice of guitarists Larry Coryell, then Mick Goodrick, and, later, the Goodrick-informed Pat Metheny (before his own voice emerged, as it did rapidly) once he made the move from RCA to ECM; and Gibbs' role as both an arranger and composer, with Burton drawing from the his gradually expanding songbook as early as "Duster" (RCA, 1967) and, with greater visibility, on later ECM dates like "Ring" (1974) and "Picture This" (1982). Here, in this 1995 session with guitarist Stephan Diez soloing at length after the ever-impeccable Burton, it's crystal clear that the vibraphonist's early days were shaped by all these factors, with Goodrick a clear touchstone for Diez, but the harmonic landscape over which Diez solos irrefutably defined by Gibbs' unmistakable voice.

Elsewhere, three recordings from 2002 demonstrate Gibbs' acumen at arranging well-known standards, in particular a version of "'Round Midnight" that, rather than using mid-1950s Miles Davis as its source, looks a decade later to the trumpeter's mid-'60s group, lending it a more modernistic edge while retaining the gentle groove that, as Gibbs explains in the liners, "lies so comfortably in the lap of the band."

With "Back In The Days", Cuneiform continues its important rescue of vital music from UK (or, in the case of Gibbs, UK-based) artists ranging from recently deceased composer/arranger Graham Collier to saxophonist John Surman and bassist Henry Miller. With the most recent session on "Back In The Days" dating nearly a decade ago, the album dovetails perfectly with Gibbs' more recent collaboration with Norma Winstone on "Here's a Song For You" (Fuzzy Moon, 2011). Individually and together, both recordings serve as a welcome reminder of Gibbs' important place in the history of jazz composers and arrangers - but one who remains absolutely active and deserving of praise and visibility now, while he is, very thankfully, still with us.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Daktari - Lost Tawns (2014) ****

Daktari  

Olgierd Dokalski - trumpet
Mateusz Franczak - tenor saxophone
Miron Grzegorkiewicz - guitars
Maciej Szczepański - bass
Robert Alabrudziński - drums

Lost Tawns (2014)



By Dirk Blasejezak

I am really happy about this album! After my review of "I travel within my dreams with a German passport" (see http://polish-jazz.blogspot.de/2013/08/daktari-i-travel-within-my-dreams-with.html) I was very curious to see how this promising band would go on. And it's really going well! They're not simply making another album, but instead go a step further and continue their development.

First thing to mention, of course, is that there is only room for one guitar in this formation. However, the absence of the second electric guitar does not limit the creative energy of the now five musicians. At a first listen this development is obvious through the significantly more relaxed way of playing. No strenuous solos or difficult passages that are supposed to show how good the musicians are. Instead, all five play in an unagitated manner along their tracks (still showing their great skills though). Right from the start the solo entry by Olgierd Dokalski lets you question if this is indeed a young newcomer band. To start off with such a hard-boiled and cool, yet free and soulful trumpet solo, makes one wonder! And this is actually inherent in all solos: no uncontrolled ecstasy, instead everybody always knows what he wants to tell and where the whole is going.

And this is indeed necessary, becaus compositionally too the new album of Daktari is much more mature than its predecessor! Was it in the latter sometimes necessary to compensate for lack of compositional creativity or maybe experience through a wilder play, the five pieces on this album here speak for themselves. This too is one reason why the individual musicians can play so much more relaxed. Additionally on this album the rhythm section (to which I would explicitly count Miron Grzegorkiewicz) has a much stronger influence on the whole. This can be heard in many very groovy passages – something the last album only rarely had to offer – and maybe the way Daktari could go in the future. 

So all in all this is by far their best album yet and a true recommendation. And although I doubt that it's possible to continue developing at this pace, I'm still very curious to see how their next album will be!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Impro Duety: Susana Santos Silva + Torböjrn Zetterberg & Wojciech Jachna + Ksawery Wójciński



Impro Duety:
Susana Santos Silva (POR) + Torböjrn Zetterberg (SWE)
Wojciech Jachna + Ksawery Wójciński

Wstęp:
15 zł (po rezerwacji na klubokawiarnia.chmury@gmail.com )
20 zł (na bramce)

Susana Santos Silva na trąbce, czyli czołowa postać portugalskiej sceny improwizowanego jazzu, wystąpi po raz pierwszy w Polsce ze znanym z clean-feedowskich "Basement Sessions", szwedzkim kontrabasistą Torbjörnem Zetterbergiem. Przed nimi równie wyjątkowy duet: trębacz Wojciech Jachna oraz kontrabasista Ksawery Wójciński. Też po raz pierwszy, ale na scenie!

Susana Santos Silva – portugalska trębaczka, improwizatorka i kompozytorka, czołowa postać sceny muzycznej w Porto. Posiadaczka licznych dyplomów (Codarts Rotterdam, College Of Music And Performing Arts). Jest współzałożycielką muzycznego stowarzyszenia Porta-Jazz i związanej z nim wytwórni płytowej – Carimbo. W 2010 roku debiutuje w roli lidera własnego kwintetu i wydaje ciepło przyjęty album – „Devil’s Dress”. Od dłuższego czasu związana jest z triem LAMA, którego skład uzupełnia kontrabasista Gonçalo Almeida oraz kanadyjski perkusista Greg Smith. Dotychczasowe płyty tego zespołu zostały wydane przez ceniony label Clean Feed. Współpracuje także z Torbjörnem Zetterbergiem, czego efektem jest płyta „Almost Tomorrow”, również wydana w barwach lizbońskiej wytwórni. W duecie z perkusistą Jorgem Queijo nagrywa z kolei „Songs From My Backyard”. Współpracuje także ze słoweńską pianistką Kają Draksler, belgijskim trio De Beren Gieren, Orquestra Jazz de Matosinhos (mają na koncie wspólne nagranie z Lee Konitzem), European Movement Jazz Orchestra. Do tej pory koncertowała w Portugalii, Hiszpanii, Francji, Holandii, Belgii, Niemczech, Austrii, Chorwacji czy Stanach Zjednoczonych.

Torbjörn Zetterberg – kontrabasista, ur. w 1976 roku w Sztokholmie. W 2002 roku, zaledwie rok po ukończeniu Royal College of Music, wydaje swój debiutancki album w barwach szwedzkiej wytwórni Moserobie Music Production. Ma na koncie osiem płyt, z czego dwie ("Förtjänar Mer Uppmärksamhet" oraz "Krissvit") otrzymały nominacje do nagrody Grammy. Oprócz własnych projektów, Torbjörn Zetterberg współpracuje z innymi artystami, nagrywając muzykę m.in. dla Clean Feed i Ayler Records. Lista artystów, z którymi do tej pory grywał jest długa. Wśród nich znajdują się m.in. Jonas Kullhammar, Carlos Garnett, Sonny Fortune, Sonny Simmons, Ivo Perelman, Benny Golson czy Benny Bailey.

Wojciech Jachna – trębacz, ur. w 1976 roku w Bydgoszczy. Absolwent Uniwersytetu Kazimierza Wielkiego na wydziale Historii. Swoją przygodę muzyczną zaczynał jako gitarzysta w grupach punkowych i alternatywnych - PoGoleniu, La Verte, Hyde. W obliczu artystycznej klęski rockowych odmian muzyki rozpoczął przygodę z jazzem. Pobierał naukę gry na instrumencie u trębaczy o różnych podejściach muzycznych - m.in. u Janusza Zdunka, Piotra Wojtasika, Marcina Gawdzisa czy Miłosza Gawryłkiewicza. W latach 2002-2006 nagrywał i koncertował z bydgoskim zespołem reggae Dubska, z którym nagrał cztery płyty: "Nie Zmul Dna", "Live in Mózg", "Dubska" i "Avocado". W latach 2004-2006 związał się z trójmiejską grupą Mordy, z którą wydaje album "Antrology". Od 2004 roku członek bydgoskiego Sing Sing Penelope. Współautor płyt "Sing Sing Penelope", "Music for Umbrellas", "We remember krzesełko", zarejestrowanej w łódzkim klubie Jazzga z nestorem bydgoskiego free jazzu - Andrzejem Przybielskim "Stirli People in Jazzga" oraz „This is the Music – vol.1”. Od 2005 roku członek Contemporary Noise Quintet/Sextet, z którym to zespołem wydaje płyty: "Pig Inside the Gentleman", "Unaffected Thought Flow" oraz „ Ghostwriter's Joke”. W 2009 roku założył duet Jachna/Buhl, mogącym się pochwalić następującymi wydawnictwami: „Pan Jabu”, „Niedokończone książki” oraz „Tapes”. Od 2011 roku członek kolektywu Innercity Ensemble (płyty:”Katahdin” oraz „II”). Współtworzy trio wraz z Grzegorzem Tarwidem i Albertem Karchem. Niebawem światło dzienne ujrzy ich album „SUNDIAL”. Obecnie student IV roku na wydziale Jazzu i Muzyki rozrywkowej na Akademii Muzycznej im. F. Nowowiejskiego w Bydgoszczy.

Ksawery Wójciński – kontrabasista i kompozytor, ur. w 1983 r. Wszechstronny muzyk o wielkiej wrażliwości na brzmienie. Nie boi się eksperymentów. Jego zainteresowania sięgają od muzyki dawnej aż po najbardziej wyrafinowaną improwizowaną muzykę współczesną. Współpracował z takimi muzykami jak: Charles Gayle, Uri Caine, Hamid Drake, Mikołaj Trzaska, Michael Zerang, Nicole Mitchell, Tim Sparks, Klaus Kugel, Norris Garner, Robert Rasz, Wacław Zimpel, Paweł Postaremczak, Raphael Rogiński, Robert Kusiołek, Krzysztof Dys, Szymon i Maurycy Wójcińscy. Współtworzy takie formacje jak legendarne, Hera, Affinity, Charles Gayle Trio. Koncertuje w kraju i za granicą. Jest znany również ze swych wokalnych eksperymentów, które przywodzą na myśl ducha takich artystów jak Tom Waits czy Frank Zappa.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Festiwal Sanatorium Dźwięku - program


Festiwal Sanatorium Dźwięku to najlepsze i najciekawsze propozycje muzyki współczesnej oraz działań interdyscyplinarnych w jednym miejscu. Przez 3 dni festiwalu publiczność weźmie udział w ponad 16 wydarzeniach, które zaprezentowane zostaną na scenie outdoorowej Skarpa oraz w Kinoteatrze „Zdrowie”. Celem podejmowanych przez artystów działań jest przełamywanie schematów percepcji i odbioru ukształtowanych przez tradycję form oraz zależności determinujących kontekst kulturowy sztuki.

SZCZEGÓŁOWY PROGRAM

PIĄTEK 8.08.2014
17:30 OTWARCIE FESTIWALU
18:00 „HYMNY” // Piotr Zabrodzki + Michał Górczyński + Michał "Bunio" Skrok
19:30 BABADAG // Ola Bilińska
21:00 NIC DLA MNIE // Daniel Pigoński + Sebastian Pawlak 

SOBOTA 9.08.2014
12:30 PARTYTURY CODZIENNOŚCI // Michał Górczyński - wykład performatywny
16:30 SzaZa + Pracownia Fizyczna // Paweł Szamburski + Patryk Zakrocki + Pracownia Fizyczna 
18:00 veNN CIRCLES // Piotr Damasiewicz + Gerard Lebik 
19:30 XENONY // Piotr Bukowski + Paweł Górski + Karol Koszniec 
21:00 PICTORIAL CANDI // Candelaria Saenz Valiente + Marcin Masecki + Tom Pop + Małgorzata Penkalla + Magda Gajdzica 
22:30 TURNUS W TROPIKACH

NIEDZIELA 10.08.2014
16:30 BAŚNIE Z MCHU I LISZAJCA // Jan Kochanowski + Leszek Bzdyl 
18:00 SLALOM // Hubert Zemler + Bartek Weber + Bartek Tyciński 
19:30 MIKROKOLEKTYW // Kuba Suchar + Artur Majewski 
21:00 SHOFAR // Mikołaj Trzaska + Raphael Rogiński + Macio Moretti 

07.08.2014 odbędzie się preludium festiwalu Sanatorium Dźwięku, czyli koncert Piotra Zabrodzkiego pt. "Impresje Sokołowskie" godz. 20:00 Zespół Szkół Muzycznych im. Stanisława Moniuszki w Wałbrzychu. Wstęp wolny. Zapraszamy !!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Little Symphony No. 3 - First Thing Tomorrow Morning (2010) ***1/2

Little Symphony No. 3

Joanna Charchan - saxophones
Andy Lumpp - piano
Heinrich Chastca - bass 
Stefan Hoelker - drums

First Thing Tomorrow Morning (2010)




By Stef Gijssels

Recorded as one long track during a concert in Knechtsteden, Germany, the performance by this German-Polish quartet is highly enjoyable, and sounds promising for more to come. The band is Joanna Charchan on sax, Andy Lumpp on piano, Heinrich Chastca on bass and Stefan Hoelker on drums. Lumpp, Chastca and Hoelker form a fixed trio, and their interplay and musical approach of improvisation is quite good. 

The real discovery is the Polish saxophonist, who fits in perfectly for this expansive improvisation, which brings the listener from jazzy and rhythmic pieces over more meditative moments to staggering improvised music. The band's greatest asset is its melancholy lyricism, that works extremely well with the unstructured and sometimes adventurous nature of the music. Charchan's tone on alto is round and warm, yet she can bend her notes and shift them to a yearning cry, or play high energy staccato phrases without losing her focus. 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

XI Festiwal Kultury Żydowskiej Warszawa Singera


The 11th Singer Festival of Jewish Culture will take place on 23rd - 31st August 2014. Plac Grzybowski and ulica Próżna have for years been home to the pre-war feel of the Polish capital and the sonorous strains of klezmer music and cantor singing, with a heady variety of film séances, workshops, literary meetings, artist's installations and tastings of the more exquisite specialties of kosher cooking. The festival tempts the invited talents to seek new paths inspired by the rich tradition of Jewish culture. The author and director of the event is Gołda Tencer, President of the Shalom Foundation, actor and director at the Jewish Theatre.

Like every year, the Festival will be taking place in and around Plac Grzybowski and ulica Próżna, and also in the Warsaw districts of Praga and Muranów. It is impossible to recommend one single event as, apart from the musical and theatrical attractions, over 200 exhibitions, lectures, children's and adults' workshops, literary meetings and film viewings are planned. However, the Warsaw Singer Festival is above all about music, which appears in various kinds and forms, and without doubt will satisfy the most demanding tastes. Synagogue singing, classical, Hassidic, klezmer and modern Jewish music will all feature, presenting the immediate experiences of musicians creating jazz, improvised and even avant garde as they enter into an unusual dialogue with the traditional.

The Warsaw Singer Festival is one of the most prominent Jewish cultural events in Europe attended by the most brilliant musicians and artists from all over the world.This year's event will feature the launch of the SINGER JEWISH JAZZ FESTIVAL hosting the stars of the Israeli jazz scene Daniel Zamir and Harold Rubin. The event will also include the excellent pianist Kuba Stankiewicz, who will remind us of the work of the brilliant composer Victor Young. Also the fine trumpeter, jazzman and singer Frank London in duet with one of the greatest singers on the world stage, Yakkov Lemmer, will present their innovative project combining klezmer and traditional cantor song. Special attention should be paid to the concert at the Nożyków Synagogue at Twarda street, which will be remembered for its unique and moving character. This year the Shalom Foundation has invited world-class singers of the young generation including Elazar Vinograd, Avreymi Kirshnboum and Moshe Fishel accompanied by the Jerusalem Cantors Choir from Israel.

The Festival has also hosted many fine Polish artists inspired by Jewish music and at this year's event the band Wsi Warszawa band will present a special repertoire at the All Saints Church on Plac Grzybowski, while the brilliant vocalist Anna Szałapak will sing a concert entitle "Let us Play Lord" („Grajmy Panu”) inspired by "The Magician of Lublin" the novel by I. B. Singer. The very popular open air concerts at Plac Grzybowski include "Klezmer Nights" featuring Alan Bern with the unusually emotional and accomplished music of Paul Brody, Mark Kovnatskiy, Martin Lillich, Sveta Kundish, Fabian Schnedler and Lorin Sklamberg. These musicians will also perform a day earlier at the Jewish Theatre presenting their newest project „Semer Label Reloaded”. The Trio Yas will also perform with Christian Dawid, Sanne Möricke and Guy Schalom at „Klezmer Night", though the unquestioned star, the world-famous cantor David D’or (10 platinum disks), known as the great voice of Israel thanks to his four-octave scale, will appear at the Plac Grzybowski finale concert with a repertoire fluently combining classical and ethnic music. 

The very interesting theatrical programme includes Mai Morgenstern's monogram „Lola Blau”, which recreates the role of Mary from Mel Gibson's "Passion" and the Polish premier of Stanisław Lem's "Planet of the Robots" directed by Shmuel Shohat, one of the most brilliant Israeli talents today. Also, the children's audience will enjoy "The Story of the Carp, the Goat and the Trumpet that put out Fires" based on the work of I. B. Singera as performed by the actors of the Jewish Theatre. On Friday evening, the organisors will invite you to greet the Sabbath together at ul. Próżna. During the course of Szabat Szalom, we will be attempting to break the Guinness Book of Records record for the amount of people sitting together at the same table.

No doubt a great attraction of the "Masters Read Singer" cycle will be the interpretation of the great Polish actors Anna Polony, Olgierd Łukaszewicz and Włodzimierz Press. Every year, the Singer Festival attracts over 35 thousand spectators of various ages and backgrounds. Apart from the magnificent feeling of community and fun in the open air, we guarantee the opportunity to go back in time and savor Yiddish
culture in the footsteps of Singer - what a wonderful way of closing the summer !!!

Friday, July 25, 2014

Nicole Mitchell & an_ARCHE NewMusic Ensemble - Arc Of O (2012) ****

Nicole Mitchell & an_ARCHE NewMusic Ensemble

Nicole Mitchell - flute, vocals, electronic samples, composition, conduction
Renée Baker - violin
Mwata Bowden - baritone saxophone, bass clarinet, clarinet
David Boykin - tenor saxophone
Rafał Zapała - artistic direction of the project, electronics, percussion
Krzysztof Dys - piano
Kuba Jankowiak - trumpet
Ksawery Wójciński - double bass
Paweł Szpura - drums

Arc Of O (2012)

By Tom Burris

The first thing you hear as this disc begins is the dense sound of manic sawing and staccato notes jamming the circuits of your brain. No lead-in. No counting time to give you a second or two of anticipation. Just BLAM! You're dropped into an environment of immediate suffocation & paranoia. Then just as quickly as it assaulted you, the music drops and drones with a mournful tension that grows gradually until it reaches another climax of psychological drama. 

The effect is jarring, compelling and sets the tone for the rest of this extremely ambitious work, which was recorded live in front of an audience in Poland. Mitchell augments a quartet for this composition with the Arche NewMusic Ensemble to great effect, often reminding me of those classic Alice Coltrane arrangements for Impulse. And moving toward even further sonic possibilities, she is playing a sampler in addition to the flute. 

Constant movement pervades throughout "Arc of O". Mitchell follows the introductory onslaught with a flute passage that is surrounded by the light fluttering of the collective in a way that invokes the Rite of Spring. (Like the Rite, Mitchell's composition seems to be a musical representation of rebirth and the regeneration of all life-cycles.) An exotic sounding melody follows, featuring David Boykin fighting with his saxophone, like he's struggling to get the thing out of his mouth while some unknown force keeps shoving it back in. Drums pound relentlessly while a tea kettle threatens to boil over, warning of some sort of sacrifice.

The next section begins with a march tempo. The seven dwarfs go to Hell as a melodic figure arises conjuring up a Braxtonian parade. It takes a few more unusual turns until tension becomes almost constant. Then out of nowhere, a surprise on par with the opening few minutes appears: a comic finish! There is relief where none could be seen & it drops in as if from out of the sky. Change as the only constant in the universe, Nicole Mitchell style. 

To alleviate the heaviness of “Arc of O,” Mitchell has paired the composition with “Afrika Rising,” which seems light-hearted by comparison but is no less sophisticated in approach or scope. It opens with the quartet playing vintage hard bop before the strings appear in the arrangement, again conjuring up those wonderful Alice Coltrane scores of yore. (I never understood the controversy over her string arrangements. They are majestic and beautiful). This is followed by a kalimba inspired melody with a funk rhythm underneath, while Boykin and ARCHE's trumpeter, Kuba Jankowiak, duel over the top. 

The next sections run the gamut between funk, Germanic big brass melodies, minimalism, and a couple of free blitz blowouts. The last section is a work of total joy, beginning with Mitchell soloing over a kinetic and tense rhythm/riff. As it opens up and the orchestra enters, Boykin solos in tribute to Alice's husband, leading the orchestra down the trail Trane once blazed in search of ultimate spiritual enlightenment. A baritone sax solo from Mwata Bowden builds to screaming intensity. The string section repeats the melody before Mitchell's flute appears, soloing to a gorgeous intensity. (The map is good!) 

A fantastic piano solo by ARCHE's Krzysztof Dys is so melodically well-constructed it sounds composed. (All praise the map!) The strings enter to play the main theme again and resolution is declared. Put the CD on repeat to hear the cycle begin again. Absolutely, positively wonderful.
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