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Articles | Popular | Future

ALBUM REVIEWS

Maciej Obara: Unloved

Read "Unloved" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic

Seemingly from thin air, the meditative music on Unloved, Polish alto saxophonist Maciej Obara's ECM debut, envelopes you in its improvisatory, chamber atmosphere and stays with you through the darker parts of the day. Spectral piano Dominik Wania, expressive double bass Ole Morten Vagan and airy percussion Gard Nilssden, composers and band leaders all, contribute mightily and selflessly to Obara's bare, lyrical sketches; filling them out and forming them into a whole consciousness, into motifs and tone poems ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Maciej Obara: Unloved

Read "Unloved" reviewed by Ian Patterson

Unloved marks a before and after for alto saxophonist/composer Maciej Obara, whose star has gradually risen since his debut as leader, Message from Ohayo (Polish Radio Katowice, 2007), and his subsequent stint with Tomasz Stanko's New Balladyna Quartet. However, it's arguably with his quintet Obara International, featuring Dominik Wania, Gard Nilssen, Ole Morten Vågan and Tom Arthurs, that Obara has attracted most attention. Championed by Jazztopad festival's international showcase tours, Obara International's extensive travels have been documented in several excellent ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Maciej Obara Quartet: Dominik Wania/Ole Morten Vågan/Gard Nilssen: Unloved

Read "Unloved" reviewed by Karl Ackermann

A distinct vernacular, unabashedly quixotic lyricism and an authoritative style of playing are among the notable characteristics that define Maciej Obara. The Polish saxophonist and composer had performed with Tomasz Stańko in the trumpeter's “New Balladyna Quartet" project and he has recorded with John Lindberg, Ralph Alessi, Mark Helias and Nasheet Waits. Obara was also on board for the Fonda/Stevens Group Trio + 2: Live in Katowice (Not Two, 2009). Unloved is Obara's ninth album and his ECM debut.

INTERVIEWS

Piotr Turkiewicz: Putting Wroclaw On The Jazz Map

Read "Piotr Turkiewicz: Putting Wroclaw On The Jazz Map" reviewed by Ian Patterson

At just thirty seven years of age it's hard to believe that Piotr Turkiewicz has been pulling the strings of Jazztopad for almost a decade already. The festival, staged each November in the Polish city of Wroclaw, was already a few years old when Turkiewicz became Artistic Director in 2008, but under the canny stewardship of Turkiewicz and General Director Andrzej Kosendiak, Jazztopad has been transformed, in both style and substance, to become one of Europe's more progressively minded jazz ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Obara International: Live at Manggha

Read "Live at Manggha" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni

The sophomore release of Polish-Norwegian quartet Obara International, led by rising Polish alto saxophonist Maciej Obara, solidifies his affinity with cool Nordic jazz. The group is not only the powerful rhythm section of resourceful Norwegians--double bassist Ole Morten Vågan and drummer Gard Nilssen. Lush phrasing by Obara himself and emphatic, profound interplay rounded out by the fantastic young pianist Dominic Wania suggests a formative influence by the Jan Garbarek Norwegian-Swedish quartet from the seventies (with pianist Bobo Stenson, double bassist ...