Adam Pieronczyk Quartet: A-Trane Nights

Dan McClenaghan By

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When the subject of "Polish Jazz" comes up, the most likely name to get mentioned might be Krzysztof Komeda, the pioneering pianist who wrote the soundtrack music for several of Roman Polanski's films, most notably Rosemary's Baby (1968). Move up to current times and you'll find another Polish jazz artist of special note, saxophonist Adam Pieroncyzk, who crafted a marvelous tribute to Komeda in 2011, Komeda: The Innocent Sorcerer (Jazzwerkstatt).

With A-Trane Nights, Pieronczyk offers something different. Replacing the atmospheric tone of "The Sorcerer" is a two disc set that features an on-the-surface-simplicity that sounds folkloric and mystical, approaching avant-garde without quite going there. "Ivolginskij Dacan" opens the expansive offering with a free-form, smooth-toned, two and a half minute tenor sax rumination that gels into an Ornette Coleman-like melodic riff. He is joined by his no piano quartet—featuring trombonist /didgeridoo player Adrian Mears, bassist Anthony Cox and drummer Krzysztof Dziedzic—that traverses a tranquil but implacable path through the elastic spaces of chordless sound.

Pieronczyk breaks out a bright-sounding soprano sax on"The Bushido Code," for dark/light contrast with Mears' trombone, the two horns men weaving their high/low tones over a tribal rhythm.

"Tranquil Pretidigitater" adds the eerie dimension of Adrian Mears' didgeridoo—the wind instrument that originated with the native Australians. Pieronczyk plays a vibrato-less soprano over the didgeridoo's leviathan drone.

A-Trane Nights, in spite of its title, doesn't seem to have a particular sonic connection with the legendary saxophonist John Coltrane, who took things into out space in his late career. This is music more grounded, except perhaps on "Copernicus," where the saxophonist rips it up. But like later period Coltane, there does seem to be a tone of a searching spirituality, of a holy quest on this excellent hundred-plus minutes of music.

Track Listing

CD 1: Ivolginskij Dacan; The Bushido Code; Tranquil Prestidigitator; Copernicus. CD 2: The Storks of Marrakech; Andalusian Garden Del Canto; If I Ever Saw The Seashore, I Believe I'd Die of Joy; Munuiak & Pieronczyk—Best Bakers In Town.


Adam Pieronczyk: tenor saxophone,soprano saxophone; Adrian Mears: trombone, didgerido; Anthony Cox: bass; Krzysztof Dziedzic: drums, percussion.

Album information

Title: A-Trane Nights | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Fortune Records


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