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Warsaw Summer Jazz Days 2023 – who will play?

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Guitarist Al Di Meola and bassist Dave Holland are the biggest stars of the Warsaw Summer Jazz Days festival, which starts on Wednesday. But it is worth taking the opportunity to take a look at those less known, but shining more and more intensely, such as saxophonist Immanuel Wilkins, vibraphonist Joel Ross or bassist Linda Oh.

This year, the most important jazz festival will last five days. The Polish scene will be represented by five bands.

Tymon’s return and Obara’s new album

The concert of Tymon Tymański, who at the end of last year returned to yass playing with a one-off charity concert of the band Miłość in the Ucho club in Gdańsk, is particularly pleasing. That performance was accompanied by the promotion of the vinyl “Miłość & Lester Bowie – Live in Gdynia”. A few days ago, the musician also announced the reissue of the legendary album “POLOVIRUS” by the Kury group, whose spiritus movens was.

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Tymon Tymański’s new band refers to the work of the Love quintet, but it is not its direct continuation, the musicians focus on a completely new repertoire and the work of Thelonious Monk – an outstanding American jazz pianist and composer who contributed to a significant expansion of the repertoire and sound of modern jazz all over the world. world,” the organizers said.

Maciej Obara brings to Stodola the pre-premiere of “Frozen Silence”, his third album recorded for the prestigious ECM label. As our leading export saxophonist explains, the material comes from the lockdown period and is inspired by the time spent in the Karkonosze Mountains, the state of complete disconnection from everyday life and civilization. Obara recorded the new album in a proven Polish-Norwegian quartet with Dominik Wania (piano), Ole Morten Vaagan (bass) and Gard Nilssen (drums).

Jazz improvisation, rock energy and electronic sounds are the characteristics of the band Niechęć, which – thanks to crossing genre boundaries – had a chance to play at large summer festivals, not necessarily jazz ones, such as Open’er in Gdynia, Tauron in Katowice or Colors of Ostrava in the Czech Republic.

The Polish line-up will be complemented by a talented saxophonist of the young generation, Marek Pospieszalski, who will perform in the octet in Warsaw.

Holland, Meola, Carter – stars from the homeland of jazz

The greatest magnet for the audience, however, will be stars from the homeland of jazz, i.e. the United States. The most recognizable in the program of this year’s Warsaw Summer Jazz Days is Al Di Meola. The guitarist set sail in the early 70s, when Chick Corea invited him to his excellent group Return to Forever. In the same decade, he already recorded albums on his own account, which are still impressive today: “Land Of The Midnight Sun”, “Elegant Gypsy” and “Cassino”. But the greatest popularity brought him participation in the guitar supertrio with John McLaughlin and Paco De Lucia. The black cover with the colorful names of the three big names is probably familiar to every fan of vinyl records who has been leafing through boxes of jazz. The concert “Friday Night in San Francisco” was released in a huge circulation and brought the creators recognition going beyond the circle of jazz listeners. In Stodola Al Di Meola will appear in a quartet with, among others, Polish guitarist settled in England Adam Palma.

Another heavyweight that we will admire in Warsaw is Dave Holland. He is a bass player who can say about himself without exaggeration: “I played with the greatest, yes, with Miles Davis as well”. “He has already visited the festival several times with various majors of world jazz, and now he will appear with his proven friends” – announce the organizers of Holland’s concert. And these proven friends are: Kris Davis (piano), Jaleel Shaw (saxophone) and Nasheet Waits (drums).

– There are fewer and fewer old stars, the greats are leaving, and those who are still playing are becoming harder to invite because the stakes are huge. Young people come, but they are not so recognizable anymore, because the position of jazz is not what it used to be – says Mariusz Adamiak, originator and head of the Warsaw Summer Jazz Days. Adamiak sees New York United as the dark horse of the festival. Behind the group are the gurus of the New York avant-garde, saxophonist Daniel Carter and a much younger Dane, Tobias Wilner, coming from the world of electronics. Federico Ughi (drums) and Djibril Toure (bass), known for his cooperation with Wu-Tang Clan, will be responsible for the rhythm. – In my opinion, this will be one of the most interesting events of the festival – speculates our interlocutor.

Wilkins, Ross, Oh – young, talented, hardworking

The Immanuel Wilkins quartet also arouses great expectations. Although this American saxophonist is not yet thirty, he can boast of the award for the best jazz album awarded by the “New York Times”. Critics distinguished him for his debut album “Omega”, which was released under the banner of Blue Note in 2020. Warsaw jazz fans could get acquainted with his captivating sound at the end of last year, when he performed at the Jassmine club.

– He is currently one of the best alto players in the world, many listeners even elevate him to number one – notices Adamiak. – I’ve also been watching the vibraphonist Joel Ross for several years. I was close to arranging his performance once because he appeared on a European tour, but I wasn’t entirely convinced. And it’s good that I abstained, because it was only in the larger line-up with which he now travels that his talent as an arranger was also revealed. This is a phenomenal proposition. I know what I’m saying. As a fan of the Modern Jazz Quartet, I have set the bar very high when it comes to vibraphone – encourages the head of the festival.

He also rubs his hands before the concert of bassist Linda Oh’s quartet. In recent years, this young American artist has played and recorded with such greats as Wayne Shorter, Vijay Iyer, Pat Metheny, Kenny Barron, Joe Lovano and Dave Douglas.

London Jazz Night

Today, a respectable jazz event must also have musicians from England in its line-up, because in the opinion of many, the most interesting things are happening right now. At the Warsaw Summer Jazz Days, three performers from the UK were gathered in one evening under the slogan London Jazz Night.

And they will be Ebi Soda, Doom Cannon Quartet and Chelsea Carmichael Quintet. This last item is especially interesting. Under her own name, saxophonist Chelsea Carmichael made her debut two years ago with The River Doesn’t Like Strangers, released on Native Rebel Recordings, the label of Shabaka Hutchings, the central figure of the London scene. And she immediately gained recognition.

– We have been inviting Londoners continuously for several years, it is a must-have destination for festival organizers. London is a stylistic and ethnic melting pot with a strong representation of women, which is very characteristic of this environment – explains Mariusz Adamiak. – But I do not rule out that we will change something next year – he adds enigmatically.

All concerts of the festival take place in the Stodoła club (Batorego 10) and start at 7 pm. Admission to the first day is free.

Warsaw Summer Jazz Days 2023 – PROGRAM:

Wednesday, July 5 – Reluctance, Tymon Tymański YassTet Thursday, July 6 – Marek Pospieszalski Octet, Wojtek Mazolewski Quintet, Al Di Meola Trio Friday, July 7 – London Jazz Night: Ebi Soda, Doom Cannon Quartet, Chelsea Carmichael Quintet Saturday, July 8 – Immanuel Wilkins Quartet, Linda May Han Oh Quintet, New York United Sunday, July 9 – Maciej Obara Quartet, Joel Ross Nonet, Dave Holland Quartet

Main photo source: mat. organizer

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