Reviews that mention Mikolaj Trzaska

August 4, 2017

Parker/Trzaska/Edwards/Sanders

City Fall
Fundacja Sluchaj FSR 04 2CD

How do you improve on quality? Very simply by adding another element that is so accomplished in itself that it raises the achievement to a superior level. Although this could be the focus of an epistemological discussion, it’s precisely what happened when Gdańsk-based alto saxophonist/bass clarinetist Mikołaj Trzaska joined tenor saxophonist Evan Parker, bassist John Edwards and drummer Mark Sanders for this two-CD record of a live London gig. Parker who has had more playing partners then the House of Saud has royal descendents has been working on and off with the bassist and drummer since the early 1990s. Meanwhile the Polish multi-reedist has come to the fore in international aggregation alongside Americans such as tenor saxophonist/clarinetist Ken Vandermark and drummer/percussionist Tim Daisy. MORE

July 16, 2015

Trzaska/Mazur/Pàndi

Tar & Feathers
Gusstaff Records Gram 1402

Cactus Truck

Seizures Palace

NotTwo MW 919-2

Playing Free Jazz may keep you young as Steve Lacy said and Peter Brötzmann prove . But the other part of this bromide is that experimental playing also demands some measure of discipline. Ironically that is the chief difference between these sessions. Like the equivalent of a swaggering motorcycle gang, young road warriors Cactus Truck, consisting of American expat reedist John Dikeman plus guitarist/bassist Jasper Stadhouders and drummer Onno Govaert from the Netherlands have with Seizures Palace created a tumescent sound wall that never seem to wane. In fact you can almost physically feel the pummeling wave forms. Tar & Feathers, created by slightly older, though no less committed players, demonstrates that a few pauses for breath and reflection create an even more varied program. On it Poles, Mikołaj Trzaska, who plays also saxophone and bass clarinet, and Rafał Mazur, whose instrument of choice is acoustic bass guitar, join with Hungarian drummer Balàzs Pàndi to pace themselves during a six-part set, recorded with as much live ambiance in Budapest as the other CD found at its session in Brooklyn. MORE

May 24, 2015

Trzaska/Swell/Holmlander/Daisy

Return from the Center of the Earth
Bocian Records BR-M1

Mikolaj Trzaska/Devin Hoff/Michael Zerang

Sleepless in Chicago

NoBusiness Records NBLP 70

Bolstering the reputation for international openness enjoyed by his Gdańsk hometown plus his own career, Polish reedist Mikolaj Trzaska expresses himself imaginatively on these discs recorded during Chicago holidays in 2011 and 2012. Trzaska, whose main horns are alto saxophone and bass clarinet developed his Windy City affiliations with stints in saxophonist Ken Vandermark’s Resonance Ensemble and in small groups with multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee or drummer Tim Daisy among others. Here he exhibits his skills in a classic Free Jazz trio with bassist Devin Hoff and drummer Michael Zerang, two of the city’s busiest players, plus an unusually constituted quartet with Daisy, New York trombonist Steve Swell and Swedish tubaist Per Åke Holmlander. MORE

May 24, 2015

Mikolaj Trzaska/Devin Hoff/Michael Zerang

Sleepless in Chicago
NoBusiness Records NBLP 70

Trzaska/Swell/Holmlander/Daisy

Return from the Center of the Earth

Bocian Records BR-M1

Bolstering the reputation for international openness enjoyed by his Gdańsk hometown plus his own career, Polish reedist Mikolaj Trzaska expresses himself imaginatively on these discs recorded during Chicago holidays in 2011 and 2012. Trzaska, whose main horns are alto saxophone and bass clarinet developed his Windy City affiliations with stints in saxophonist Ken Vandermark’s Resonance Ensemble and in small groups with multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee or drummer Tim Daisy among others. Here he exhibits his skills in a classic Free Jazz trio with bassist Devin Hoff and drummer Michael Zerang, two of the city’s busiest players, plus an unusually constituted quartet with Daisy, New York trombonist Steve Swell and Swedish tubaist Per Åke Holmlander. MORE

June 18, 2013

The Resonance Ensemble

What Country is This?
NotTwo MW 885-2

Fire! Orchestra

Exit!

Rune Grammofon RDCD 2138

Lean Left

Live at Café Oto

Unsounds 32U

Double Tandem

Cement

PNL Records PNL 013

Something in The Air: Modern Rhythms and New Jazz

By Ken Waxman

As the rhythmic base of jazz has changed over the past half century, adding emphases besides pure swing to improvisation, the role of the percussionist has changed as well. No longer just a time keeper the modern drummer must be conversant with varied beats from many genres of music. This familiarity with other cultures is also why many non-Americans have become prominent. Case in point is Norwegian percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love, who plays with the Euro-American band Lean Left band at the Tranzac on June 15. Nilssen-Love, whose associates range from the most committed electronics dial-twister to free-form veterans is equally proficient laying down a hard rock-like beat as he is trading accents with experimental timbre-shatters. The two extended tracks on Live at Café Oto Unsounds 32U demonstrate not only Nilssen-Love’s cohesive skills amplifying the improvisations of Chicago-based tenor saxophonist/clarinetist Ken Vandermark as he does in many other contexts, but shows how both react to the power chords and violent string distortions which characterize the style of guitarists Andy Moor and Terrie Ex from Dutch punk band The Ex, who complete this quartet. In spite of Vandermark’s consistent overblowing which encompasses pumping altissimo honks and frenetic slurs; plus the guitarists’ constant crunches, smashes and frails, the drumming never degenerate into monotonous rock music-like banging. Instead, while the backbeat isn’t neglected, auxiliary clips, ruffs, ratamacues and smacks are used by Nilssen-Love to break up the rhythm, with carefully measured pulsations. This strategy is most obvious during the climatic sections of the more-than-37 minute Drevel. With all four Lean Lefters improvising in broken octaves, the narratives shakes to and fro between Vandermark’s collection of emphasized freak notes and dyspeptic stridency and the dual guitarists’ slurred fingering that leads to staccato twangs and jangling strums. Not only is the climax attained with a crescendo of volume and excitement, but the final theme variations are in contrast as stark and minimalist as the earlier ones are noisy. As guitars methodically clank as if reading a post-modern composition, and the clarinet lines emphasize atonal reed bites, intermittent stick strokes and toe-pedal pressure from the drummer concentrates the sound shards into the track’s calm finale. MORE

March 20, 2013

Mikolaj Trzaska/Olie Brice/Mark Sanders

Riverloam Trio
No Business Records NBLP 52/NBLP 53

Joe Hertenstein/Achim Tang/Jon Irabagon

Future Drone

Jazzwerkstatt JW 126

With experimenters such as Sonny Rollins, Peter Brötzmann and Ornette Coleman having pioneered the reed/bass/drum trio as a paramount improvisatory vehicle nearly a half century ago, mercurial efforts like these are almost expected in terms of Free Jazz elaboration. Yet such is the malleability of the process that each of these trans-nationalist efforts defines its strategy differently. MORE

November 29, 2010

Brötzmann/Traska/Bauer

Goosetalks
Kilogram Records 1kg 017

Building this triangular meeting around ornithologically titled tracks, the horn players on this CD prove that first-class improvisation can result from any combination of instruments. The two Germans and one Pole also confirm that extended techniques used judiciously as well as with bellicose intent can make fowl sounds as palatable as any others.

Two of the aviary adventures – Wuppertal saxophonist Peter Brötzmann and Berlin trombonist Johannes Bauer –have been in the forefront of Free Music for years, working with pianist Alexander von Schlippenbach, violinist Jon Rose and bassist Barry Guy among many, many others. Gdańsk resident Mikołaj Trzaska is not as well-known, but shouldn’t remain so. Over the past 15 years he has widened his circle of playing partners from fellow Poles such as bassist Marcin Oleś and drummer Bartłomiej Oleś to Danish drummer Peter Øle Jorgensen, Belgian bassist Peter Jacquemyn and Americans multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee MORE

July 10, 2006

OLEŒ/TRASKA/OLEŒ/CAPOZZO

Suite for Trio +
Fenommedia FM 05 001

Going from recorded strength to strength it’s become apparent that it’s time for Poland’s Oleœ brothers to take up the North American challenge. This isn’t an Americentric view of jazz – which say that real improv is only practiced stateside. It’s just that bassist Marcin Oleœ and drummer Bartlomiej “Brat” Oleœ are such advanced players that everyday exposure to North American improvisers on their home turf, for at least a few weeks, would provide beneficial musical testing. MORE

April 26, 2004

Oles/Jörgensmann/Oles

Miniatures
(Not Two)

Oles/Trzaska/Oles
La Sketch Up
(Kilogram Records)

by Ken Waxman April 26, 2004

Musical siblings have been a familiar sight in jazz going back to the 1920s, when clarinetist Johnny Dodds and drummer Warren “Baby” Dodds played with Louis Armstrong. Just think of the contributions of brothers Lester and Lee Young, Nat and Cannonball Adderley and Butch and Wilber Morris for other examples.

Yet, except for bassist Addison and flugelhornist Art Farmer, the number of twins who function at the same high level of musical talent has been limited. At least, that is, until the Polish Oles brothers came along. MORE