Maciej Fortuna: Zośka

Anthony Shaw By

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Maciej Fortuna is obviously a power to be reckoned with on the Polish music scene, as not only the founder and director of Fortuna-music and a teacher in Poznan's Academy of Music but as a leading jazz trumpeter in the country. On this disc he has invited three stalwart American musicians to join him and together his bandmates have selected their repertoire of six nineteenth century Polish folk tunes, to which are added four of Fortuna's own compositions. It makes for interesting fusion listening.

Fortuna uses the same musicians who appeared in 2012 as the Mack Goldsbury Quartet. Then the musicians gathered in El Paso, where reedman Goldsbury and bassist Erik Unsworthy are based, to record a live album 'Live at Coco's' released by Cadence Records. The current album was recorded the same year in Poznan, Poland, and as Fortuna intended strongly reflects Polish musical heritage and his acknowledged debt to it

The tunes are frequently led by Fortuna or Goldsbury, and often evoke a klezmer feeling with unison runs before engaging in more modern contests and duels. Goldsbury also leads some adventurous cross melodies, as in the third track "God what are you saying?," where Fortuna and Unsworth both follow with some inspired soloing, before returning to the traditional theme to conclude.

The selection works well. Wailing and lacrymose folk melodies are interspersed with Fortuna's offerings, and there is inspiring interplay of trumpet and sax, eg. Pros pan ojiec, with solid rhythm from Unsworth and drummer Frank Parker Jr. This is more than just an introduction to current intercultural Polish musical threads; it is a deft investigation of two or more diverse, but sometimes parallel worlds. Indeed in Polish Zoska can refer just to a young girl named Sofia or Zofia, to a national hero (Tadeusz Zawadzki) as well as to a hanky sack or beanbag! And don't miss the hokey Youtube video featuring Fortuna's multicultural dress sense, as well as some cute dancing to his music!

Track Listing: Lipka; Kuśtyk; Boże co władasz ;Prosi pan ojciec;Nie chcę cię kasiu; Obertas; Zośka; Bychawa; Lybedź; Idzi.

Personnel: Maciej Fortuna: trumpet; Mack Goldsbury: tenor & soprano saxophones; Erik Unsworth: bass; Frank Parker: drums.

Title: Zośka | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Fortuna Music

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