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On this disc, the JagodziÅ„ski Trio from Poland plays alongside Italian pianist Giovanni Mirabassi (the bandleader taking on the accordion) for a program that includes several original songs and a couple of takes on Miles Davis, Bill Evans and Chopin. The trio has specialized on rereading their fellow Pole throughout its distinguished career, and it is exactly this that has brought the trio stateside for a number of performances that included a March, 2007 gig at New York's Joe's Pub, performingminus Mirabassiwith Chicago-based vocalist GraÅºyna Auguscik.
The album opens with Mirabassi's "Tango, which is tailor-made for this four-piece format, as JagodziÅ„ski skillfully channels the vibe and feel of the Argentinean genre. The chemistry among the musicians is evident (this is their third disc together). The piano/accordion combination works like a charm, specially on more fast-paced numbers such as "Souvenirs Souvenirs, where you can also notice the chops of bassist Adam Cegielski and drummer CzesÅ‚aw Bartowski, who provide strong backing to the track and also shine individually with their fill-ins and riffs.
Bassist Adam Cegielski and the bandleader beautifully exchange leads on Chopin's "Valse in La Mineur, while Mirabassi backs them with subtle but effective chords that fill all open spaces in the song. During his own solo, he blends his classical and jazz influences by playing in an incredibly simple manner.
Polish jazz musicians seem to have an ongoing love affair with Brazilian music, which can be evidenced by the fact that many artists from that Latin country have toured in Poland. Several albums have either covered tunes by Baden Powell, Jobim and others or been influenced by these composers (vocalist Anna Maria Jopek, for instance, has recorded Powell's "Apelo (with the title "Samba Przed Rozstaniem" , from her 1998 CD Szeptem) and has made an entire album of original bossa nova-inspired songs). Here we are offered "Samba de Tygmont, a JagodziÅ„ski tune that allows the group to be both creative and playful around the melody.
At their New York gig, the focus was on Chopin and Polish Folk songs. The trio played the first number, and then was joined by Auguscik. At first, neither the vocalist nor the group seemed to gelthe trio seemed a bit uneasy to be backing a singer, and she seemed a bit out of her element. However, as things evolved they seemed to develop some chemistry, getting positive appreciation from the audience, which was formedas far as we could noticemostly of expatriate Poles.
I love jazz because anything is possible; it has few rules and the best jazz breaks those ones. I prefer free improv because it doesn't really have any rules at all.
I was first exposed to jazz in my teens (in the late sixties).
The first jazz record I bought was Filles de Kilimanjaro by Miles Davis, shortly followed by Extrapolation by John McLaughlin.
My advice to new listeners is to listen as widely as possible and not to make snap judgments--stick with it.