Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

455

Marcin Wasilewski Trio: January

Chris May By

Sign in to view read count
With January, pianist Marcin Wasilewski, bassist Slawomir Kurkiewicz and drummer Michal Miskiewicz step out of the benign shadow of their mentor, trumpeter Tomasz Stanko—on whose Soul Of Things (ECM, 2001), Suspended Night (ECM, 2003) and Lontano (ECM, 2005) they were featured accompanists—and confirm the mighty promise of their international solo debut, Trio (ECM, 2005).



Stanko's absence, felt from time to time on Trio, is noticed no more. On January—an album of warm and glowing lyric beauty which belies any chilly connotations suggested by its title—the trio are complete in themselves.



Appropriately, the disc heralds a re-branding of the group, which now goes by the moniker the Marcin Wasilewski Trio, rather than the egalitarian Simple Acoustic Trio of before. Wasilewski wrote four of the five originals, co-created the fifth, is on-mike in solo or comp-plus mode practically throughout, and is unmistakably the leader.



While Trio was a mixture of eight composed and five freely improvised pieces, there is just one group improv on January (the brief "New York 2007" which closes the set). There are five covers—Gary Peacock's Satie-esque "Vignette," Prince's pretty "Diamonds And Pearls," in which Wasilewski and Kurkiewicz share the melody, Ennio Morricone's "Cinema Paradiso," full of childlike wonder, Carla Bley's "King Korn," which brings a refreshingly acerbic breeze halfway through the disc, and Stanko's gorgeous "Balladyna," given a sumptuous, rubato treatment which (if you're prone to flashbacks) evokes the rippling, trippy, late 1960s astral jazz of saxophonist Pharoah Sanders and pianist/harpist Alice Coltrane more than the work of another piano trio.



In the main understated, regally unhurried, and spacious—qualities which distinguished TrioJanuary regularly erupts into surging rhythmic intensity, when Kurkiewicz's resonant low-end bass and Miskiewicz's emphatic tympani-sticks on tom toms create waves of propulsion on which Wasilewski can surf. This month of January is a time of pause and reflection, but brings with it too intimations of spring and new growth.



While this lovely music comes out under Wasilewski's name, it is impossible to imagine it being made with any other bassist and drummer, so hard-wired are Kurkiewicz and Miskiewicz into a collective aesthetic. One day, hopefully long off, there may be partings, but until then, MWT are as perfect as it gets.

Track Listing: The First Touch; Vignette; Cinema Paradiso; Diamonds and Pearls; Balladyna; King Corn; The Cat; January; The Young and Cinema; New York 2007.

Personnel: Marcin Wasilewski: piano; Slawomir Kurkiewicz: double-bass; Michal Miskiewicz: drums.

Title: January | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: ECM Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
  • Live by Mike Jurkovic
  • Live by Karl Ackermann
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Extended Analysis
Album Reviews
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Interviews
Read more articles
Live

Live

ECM Records
2018

buy
Live

Live

ECM Records
2018

buy
Spark of Life

Spark of Life

ECM Records
2014

buy
Faithful

Faithful

ECM Records
2011

buy
January

January

ECM Records
2008

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Jun15Sat
Marcin Wasilewski Trio – Celebrating 25 Years
Triskel Christchurch
Cork, Ireland
€3230

Related Articles

Read We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration Album Reviews
We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration
By Mark Corroto
April 25, 2019
Read Golem Dance Album Reviews
Golem Dance
By Friedrich Kunzmann
April 25, 2019
Read New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4 Album Reviews
New Jazz Standards, Vol. 4
By Dan Bilawsky
April 24, 2019
Read Open Form For Society Album Reviews
Open Form For Society
By Mark Corroto
April 24, 2019
Read Yes Album Reviews
Yes
By John Sharpe
April 24, 2019
Read Avec le temps Album Reviews
Avec le temps
By Mark Sullivan
April 23, 2019
Read Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog Album Reviews
Snaketime: The Music Of Moondog
By Mark Corroto
April 23, 2019