Wojciech Staroniewicz feat. Erik Johannessen
Wojciech Staroniewicz: saxophone
Erik Johannessen: trombone
Dominik Bukowski: vibraphone
Paweł Urowski: double bass (currently Konrad Żołnierek)
Przemysław Jarosz: drums
The band’s new album titled “STRANGE VACATION” was released on April 29, 2022 by Allegro Records. It is also available in streaming.
This is Wojciech Staroniewicz’s twelfth original album, and the second after “North Park” in the above line-up. Apparently, the quintet has formed itself for good, has developed its own language and sound and consistently implements the leader’s musical vision.
The new program was created in 2020, and what year it was, we all remember: uncertainty, surprise, isolation, contradictory messages, fear, feeling of rebellion, sometimes discouragement, which a moment later gives way to hope that it will be better now. These and many other strong emotions poured violently through our reality. This was reflected in the new compositions being the artist’s emotional response to this time. The title track “Strange Vacation” was written 6 days after the announcement of the first lockdown in Poland.
This is how it was written about the band’s first album entitled “NORTH PARK”
“It’s probably closest to the times of Komeda, especially when I listen to the title track. Maybe it’s a coincidence, but having freshly read Komeda. Magdalena Grzebałkowska’s personal life of jazz, I find in North Park elements of the atmosphere of that music and that time”. Marek Brzeski – JazzPRESS
North Park is a first-rate acoustic jazz, (…) devised by the leader to be played not only on a big stage but also unplugged, without microphones and amplifiers. On one hand it is a return to the roots of jazz playing, on the other hand, they are aesthetically pleasing variations based on uninhibited mainstream music enriched by Staroniewicz’s mastery in composition and harmony. In places radical, yet restrained when required, Staroniewicz proves with every single note that in Poland, in this type of jazz, he is in a class of his own. Piotr Iwicki „Jazz Gazeta”
Stylistically, it is a kind of continuation of the music contained on Staroniewicz’s earlier album entitled “Alternations”, recorded with the participation of Leszek Możdżer and Sławek Jaskułke.
“North Park”, however, contains a greater dose of reverie or melancholy. Or maybe this is the mood of Sopot in the off-season? The delicate sound of Dominik Bukowski’s vibraphone and the sonoristic actions of Erik Johannessen reinforce this impression. However, one would be wrong to think that “North Park” is entirely romantic-ballad music. Staroniewicz, as on previous original albums, serves the listener a solid portion of racial, energetic jazz, using a whole range of sometimes completely extreme means of expression. The high quality of the recording was ensured by the Monochrom studio, as if isolated from reality, located in the mountains. Only there, as Staroniewicz claims, was it possible to break away from the information noise, from everyday life, and completely focus on one thing – music.
Polish saxophonist and composer, who has been performing in front of audiences for over 25 years and he keeps on surprising his fans with new original musical projects. His broad spectrum of musical style has been captured on 9 albums to date: Quiet City, Karambola, Hand made, Conversession, Alternations, A’freak-an Project, Tranquillo, A’FreAk-KomEdA Project and North Park. His entire discography includes over 40 titles.
Staroniewicz has also been collaborating as a side-man with other well-known musicians and bands which include (but are not limited to) the Norwegian band Loud Jazz Band, Wlodzimierz Nahorny Sextet and the Metro musical. Throughout his career he has been performing with a variety of excellent musicians such as: Andrzej Jagodziński, Włodek Pawlik, Cezary Konrad, Krzysztof Herdzin, Adam Cegielski, Nippy Noya, Helge Lien, Erik Johannessen, Brian Melvin and most of the leading jazz musicians
Born in 1975 Oslo, Norway Erik Johannessen plays the trombone, percussion and sings in Jaga Jazzist, who won a Norwegian Grammy for the album One-armed Bandit in 2010. He has toured all over the world with Jaga Jazzist, Ensemble Denada, Loud Jazz Band, Trondheim Jazz Orchestra and the trio Lord Kelvin.
He is a modern trombone player in the free jazz field, but also enjoys melodic improvisation. He composes and arranges music for small and large ensembles and was nominated for the composer of the year at the Norwegian Grammy for a children’s music record called Snydelig, feat. The National Broadcasting Orchestra (KORK). He plays on numerous pop/rock albums with Susanne Sundfør, Lindstrøm, Maria Mena m.m.
Jazz vibraphonist, composer, born in 1977. Jazz vibraphonist and composer. In 2018 he has been awarded as the best vibraphonist in Jazz Top by Jazz Forum magazine.
He was nominated for the” Grand Prix Jazz Melomani 2003″ in the category „Hope of Music Connoisseur 2003” and „Storm of 2005” by Gdansk edition of Gazeta Wyborcza daily. He was also nominated by „Dziennik Baltycki” as a „Man of the Year 2005”.
Dominik Bukowski played and recorded with musicians such as: Amir ElSaffar, Cikada Quartet, Nigel Kennedy, Soweto Kinch, Tim Hagans, Janusz Muniak, Leszek Mozdzer, Piotr Wojtasik, Maciej Sikala, Zbigniew Namyslowski, Jan „Ptaszyn” Wroblewski, Krystyna Stańko and others.
Bassist and bass guitarist, who graduated from the Karol Lipiński Academy of Music in Wroclaw at the Instrumental Faculty. Winner of numerous awards in top jazz competitions such as, among others, EIM, Jazz Juniors, and Krokus Jazz Festiwal.
He has recorded 17 albums, including an album nominated for the Fryderyk Award 2010, recorded with Dziki Jazz band comprising Kamiński, Pater, Urowski, and Gorzycki.
Jazz drummer, composer, teacher has been established in Wrocław since 1999 when he began his studies at the Karol Lipinski Academy of Music. During his studies he was the finalist of numerous competitions and a winner of individual and collective prizes.
Collaborating with many bands, he performs at most of prestigious Jazz Festivals in Poland like the Jazz Nad Odrą Festival, Głogowskie Spotkania Jazzowe, Jazz w Ruinach or Green Town of Jazz to name some of them. He plays concerts in Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Bulgaria, Romania, the Netherlands, Slovakia, France and Belgium. Since December 2015, he leads his own group Yarosh Organ Trio touring around POLAND, performing at most significant jazz festivals. He released a debut CD called „Yarosh Organ Trio” on February 2016 and will release the 2nd called „Alterakcje” which is expected on September this year.
CD review: Dionizy Piątkowski – ERA JAZZU – STRANGE VACATION