Maciej Fortuna / Krzysztof Dys: Tropy (2013)
The intimate, chamber format of trumpet and piano was pioneered on the Polish jazz scene about thirty years ago by master trumpeter Tomasz Stanko and pianist Andrzej Kurylewicz on the influential album Korozja which was re-released by Polonia Records in 1997. Fortuna and Dys, no doubt are aware of the former project but do not follow it. Both musicians are educators who have a classical background, well-versed with contemporary music and enjoy experimenting with sounds, tones, tempos, timbres, and structures without subscribing to any method or musical conception.
The duo format is simply a vehicle for both of them to explore the spontaneous process of music making. Translating fragments of ideas into a coherent steady musical flow, and emphatic, corresponding articulations into a melodic structure. Tropy was recorded inside a church and the pristine acoustic ambiance enriches the patient and thoughtful interplay.
After the lyrical introduction of "Aliena mente" the duo begins to experiment with more open-ended narratives on "Ellipsis" and "Vox superiori." The interplay is more sparse and dissonant, at times even confrontational, till the two manage to negotiate common language. "Gravitas minor" is all about sounds, searching new ones, connecting to old ones, slowly sketching new sonic territory that fits Fortuna; the more adventurous of the two and Dys who wisely anchors Fortuna's flights. "Ditis" enables the two to improvise playfully over a strong theme, alternating between tight, dense and more skeletal modes. "Illuminati" is the most engaging piece here and summarizes the duo's sonic searches into sounds and structures. Though the two experiment with extended techniques, fractured tempos, and dark tones their interaction is immediate, accessible and deeply emotional. The duo concludes its debut album with another playful improvisation on "Portuensis"
Fortuna and Dys are mature and confident composers-improvisers who deserve wider recognition.
Track Listing: Aliena mente; Ellipsis; Vox superiori; Gravitas minor; Ditis; Illuminati; Portuensis.
Personnel: Maciej Fortuna: trumpet; Krzysztof Dys: piano.
Record Label: Fortuna Music