Michal Wróblewski is a unique figure on the Polish jazz piano scene. Many skilled and well educated musicians graduate at Music Academy in Katowice, but hardly such talents appear.
I came across artist’s début recording I Remember, which I spotted scanning news and wanted to hear more straight on, so when the chance came, I jumped on it.
What is catching up from the beginning is musician’s natural ability to stay on the melodic side whatever he is writing. Opening title tune, as well as its closing session alternative had been obtained from the others. Six out of 9 are pianist’s originals , one track Seven Days Only had been written by trio’s bassist Michal Jaros , Little Giant is obviously variation played on Coltrane’s iconic Giant Steps tune.
I remember contains chords progression which is partially quoting Nirvana’s great hit Smells Like Teen Spirit, previously taken on the piano workshop by Ethan Iverson of The Bad Plus , but this one is not a cover and certainly is more harmonically complex and interesting. It is possessing an enormous drive and as such is a great choice for the opener.
One for Dotti brings us straight to the pianist’s own universe. This is the land of gentle illusion , so emotional and well put together, with very lyrical and melodic motif and nostalgic choruses. All trio contributes here greatly and especially bass lines complaining leader’s lines. This trio did learn their lessons well and certainly all important things which happened in jazz piano trios since Bill Evans to Brad Mehldau are here.
Following funky titled Jarretude makes no secret to whom the young master is paying the tribute. It is amazing how one can say things in such a different ways using the same words. That happens here. It is Jarret’s vocabulary, but there is no single quote I can reckon , but his spirit- it’s there all the time in the respect how Michal spelled it in to his score.
Fuga played by jazzmen automatically brings memories of J. Loussier to most of the listeners, including writing these words. But again when Jacques’ approach was more syncope MW Trio makes it more Baroque, as all musicians actually keep playing Fugue in call and response manner instead translating it to the jazz language, until drums interlude breaks it down. Again as it is one off on that CD it just shows musician’s versatility brilliantly.
Shadows, consecutive piece is a lovely ballad based on strong bass riff around which Wróblewski is weaving delicate melody occasionally accented with dynamic piano chords. Rhythm is flirting with listeners here, drifting from slow motion waltz to lazy rumba tempo.
Next in row, the Polish Chant is a beauty. Artist picked up a folk tune and kept it in the repetitive chorus surrounded by piano architecture which keeps reminding Paul Bley’s rhythmic structures, more intellectual by their nature and counter-pointing a simplicity of the naive tune gorgeously.
Giant Steps with flirting tempos and line inversions is simply masterpiece reading and possibly the greatest tribute that one can pay to the great master. Jumping on the bassist score shows maturity of his composition , which keeps bass involved as one might expect, but with perfect balance and space left for the piano tissue and gentle drums thrilling.
Outro makes lovely way out using same theme but slowing you down and helping to leave that sonic heaven without striking regret. This is brilliant recording and I strongly recommend anyone to get it as well as remember artist name as it is going to be the great one very soon.
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