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by Budd Kopman
Polish jazz has a long history, and includes many more players than the widely known Tomasz Stanko or Krzysztof Komeda. A deeper, and much earlier influence than American jazz coming to Poland is that of the folk music indigenous to Poland itself. Reedman (saxophones and bass clarinet) Irek Wojtczak, arguably a free player, relates in the liner notes how, in his thirties (when else?), he wanted to reconnect to his musical roots. He found folk violinist Tadeusz Kubiak ...read more
by C. Michael Bailey
Jazz from the edge of Eastern Europe. Wojtczak NY Connection is very much and East meets West jazz endeavor. Irek Wojtczak is a Polish saxophonist, conservatory trained and stage proven. For the Wojtczak NY Connection, Wojtczak joins the New York City-based Fonda/Stevens Group (bassist Joe Fonda and pianist Michael Stevens) for an internationally-flavored eutectoid. The results are a driving brand of jazz seasoned with Polish folk music, hard bop, and adult contemporary styling. Drummer Harvey Sorgen is ...read more
by Karl Ackermann
The substantial music community in Eastern Europe has a particular affinity for incorporating elements of regional and ethnic music into modern jazz. Gypsy jazz, klezmer and various strains of ethno-fusion have often been combined so that regional influences and free jazz serve as a shared platform, at times addressing political and social causes. For Polish saxophonist and composer Irek Wojtczak, the motivation in combining these contrasting genres is in the dynamic it provides for conveying cultural context in a fresh ...read more