Polish, Poznań-based trumpeter Maciej Fortuna
is a musician with many tastes. He himself divided the music that he composes, produces and releases on his own label to ethno-jazz, electric jazz, acoustic jazz, live electronics and improvised music. His new duo project with pianist Krzysztof Dys
, member of reed player Waclaw Zimpel
's quartet is supposed to fall into the category of improvised music but these superficial definitions do not cover the whole picture.
The intimate, chamber format of trumpet and piano was pioneered on the Polish jazz scene about thirty years ago by master trumpeter Tomasz Stanko
and pianist Andrzej Kurylewicz
on the influential album Korozja
which was re-released by Polonia Records in 1997. Fortuna and Dys, no doubt are aware of the former project but do not follow it. Both musicians are educators who have a classical background, well-versed with contemporary music and enjoy experimenting with sounds, tones, tempos, timbres, and structures without subscribing to any method or musical conception.
The duo format is simply a vehicle for both of them to explore the spontaneous process of music making. Translating fragments of ideas into a coherent steady musical flow, and emphatic, corresponding articulations into a melodic structure. Tropy
was recorded inside a church and the pristine acoustic ambiance enriches the patient and thoughtful interplay.
After the lyrical introduction of "Aliena mente" the duo begins to experiment with more open-ended narratives on "Ellipsis" and "Vox superiori." The interplay is more sparse and dissonant, at times even confrontational, till the two manage to negotiate common language. "Gravitas minor" is all about sounds, searching new ones, connecting to old ones, slowly sketching new sonic territory that fits Fortuna; the more adventurous of the two and Dys who wisely anchors Fortuna's flights. "Ditis" enables the two to improvise playfully over a strong theme, alternating between tight, dense and more skeletal modes. "Illuminati" is the most engaging piece here and summarizes the duo's sonic searches into sounds and structures. Though the two experiment with extended techniques, fractured tempos, and dark tones their interaction is immediate, accessible and deeply emotional. The duo concludes its debut album with another playful improvisation on "Portuensis"
Fortuna and Dys are mature and confident composers-improvisers who deserve wider recognition.