Reviews that mention Maciej Obara

June 21, 2016

Obara International

Live in Mińsk Mazowiecki
ForTune 0080 (052)

Gradually expanding his perspective, Warsaw-based alto saxophonist Maciej Obara has juiced up his International band of two Poles and two Norwegians by adding British trumpeter Tom Arthurs to the mix. Like a touch of pepper that adds flavor, but doesn’t substantially alter the dish’s spice content, the trumpeter, who often works with the likes of pianist Julia Hülsmann and bassist Miles Perkin is attached to similar FreeBop impulses as the saxophonist. With Norwegians, bassist Ole Morten Vågan and drummer Gard Nilssen keeping the pulse steady, the horns’ contrapuntal jabs toughen the narratives, especially when pianist Dominik Wania’s innate romanticism seems in danger of sugar coasting the seven originals so they become more Disney-like than Grimm’s fairy tale-realistic. MORE

June 20, 2014

Label Spotlight

For Tune
By Ken Waxman

Like many projects related to improvised music, the origin of Warsaw’s FOR TUNE (Publishing House) recordings began with three jazz fans talking. Jarek Polit, vice-president of the label and one of its three full-time staffers, had been managing a record store for decades, and he was enthusiastically telling two of his regular customers about the 11-piece Power of the Horns (POH) band which hadn’t yet recorded. Similarly enthusiastic, the other two joined forces with him to present POH in a small local cub. “It was like hitting the bull’s eye,” recalls Polit. “So we thought we might create a phonographic company to implement our own ideas, and record some interesting though not commercially viable projects.” Released as a two-disc CD-DVD package, POH’s Alaman became the first For Tune in 2013. Now the catalogue is heading towards 30 releases with many more to come. MORE

May 14, 2014

Obara International

For Tune 007

Does it make a difference if musicians performing a work are of the same nationality as its composer? While the concept is iffy at best, sometimes it seems as if nationalism can add an extra oomph to the playing. So it is with this CD, where four Polish jazzmen expand to epic length interpretations of pieces by Krzysztof Komeda. Best known in the West for his soundtrack writing, including Rosemary’s Baby and The Fearless Vampire Killers, Komeda (1931-1969) was also in on the birth of Polish modern jazz, and remains the best-known composer from that era. MORE