All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


WM Project: From a Familiar Place

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
The WM Project, led by saxophonist Krzysztof Medyna and pianist Andrzej Winnicki, doesn't sound much like the Komeda Project. Medyna and Winnicki have earned well-deserved acclaim for their work in that ensemble that explores the music of their countryman, Krzysztof Komeda. But here, instead of the Polish melancholy, haunting themes and brooding melodies, they take From A Familiar Place into the more American realm of straight ahead, at times even brash bebop with, always, big solid grooves.

Two distinguished American horn men join the Polish team—trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and trombonist Marshall Gilkes. The pairing of Gilkes and Medyna recalls Sonny Rollins' trombone-and-tenor sax forays with bone man Clifton Anderson, especially on "Blind Warriors," penned saxophonist Medyna. The sound is propulsive and muscular, almost an assault, bebop style.

The group's take on Joe Zawinul's "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" bursts with energy, featuring trumpeter Pelt at his most inspired on a soaring solo.

Seven of nine tunes here come from the pens of leaders—teamed in the writing or going it alone. Two are jazz standards, the previously-mentioned "Mercy, Mercy, Mercy" and Paul Desmond's "Take Five." And Michael Winnicki, the set's superb, powerhouse drummer, and son of the group's leader Andrzej Winnicki, adds a tune of his own. "Take Five" and "Mercy, Mercy Mercy" grew out of hip hop grooves, and turned into something different and thoroughly modern in the process.

The set closes out with Andrzej Winnicki's "Looking Ahead," an upbeat, up-tempo hard-driving romp that power-prowls on out into the night with an attitude. That's how to wrap up a show.

Track Listing: From a Familiar Place; Mercy, Mercy, Mercy; Blind Warriors; On Sunday, After Church; Take Five; Das Bounce; Grass Hoppers; Praeludium; Looking Ahead.

Personnel: Jeremy Pelt: trumpet; Marshall Gilkes: trombone; Krzysztof Medyna: tenor sax; Rafal Sarnecki: guitar; Andrzej Winnicki: piano; Jeff Dingler: bass; Michael Winnicki: drums.

Title: From a Familiar Place | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: WM Records


Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read The Questions CD/LP/Track Review
The Questions
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Meerkat Parade CD/LP/Track Review
Meerkat Parade
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 20, 2018
Read The Poetry of Jazz CD/LP/Track Review
The Poetry of Jazz
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 20, 2018
Read The Unknowable CD/LP/Track Review
The Unknowable
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Like A Radio CD/LP/Track Review
Like A Radio
by Doug Collette
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Live In Healdsburg CD/LP/Track Review
Live In Healdsburg
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 19, 2018
Read "On the Road" CD/LP/Track Review On the Road
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 7, 2018
Read "The Wandering Woods" CD/LP/Track Review The Wandering Woods
by Jim Olin
Published: October 9, 2017
Read "Thinking, Whistling" CD/LP/Track Review Thinking, Whistling
by Anthony Shaw
Published: December 6, 2017
Read "Someone Else" CD/LP/Track Review Someone Else
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 27, 2017
Read "Äventyret" CD/LP/Track Review Äventyret
by Troy Dostert
Published: December 5, 2017
Read "Extremophile" CD/LP/Track Review Extremophile
by John Eyles
Published: April 11, 2017