11 January 2017: jazz from Eastern Europe

This week the music came from Eastern Europe with some Danish connections. It is all music that I came across last year and most was released in 2016. As always, the best source is the ever-inspirational Steve’s Jazz Sounds.


The show started with a tune from the album Monte Alban by the
veteran Polish sax player Adam Pieronczyk. It was recorded during a tour of Mexico with his trio – including a Polish bass player and a Mexican drummer. The sound is a highly unusual one and uses electronic devices to process the sound of the bass and add multiple layers. It is an interesting album.

The Cracow Jazz Collective have an album which has the reflective title of No More Drama – but it’s anything but. There are dramatic shifts of sound throughout one long tune, Jazz Drama. Check the particularly dramatic explosion five minutes in. With only three extended tracks on the album there’s plenty of opportunity for unexpected dramas. Artur Tuznik is an example of the Poland-Denmark connection. Pianist Tuznik is  Polish-born but is now resident in Copenhagen and the tune I played from the trio he leads is called Hymn For Copenhagen. His piano playing is well to the fore with some gentle backing on the drums.

The Pawel Wszolek Quintet have appeared before on the show. Wszolek is a bass player from Krakow and his strong playing is prominent. The band play tough, loud, heavy jazz. I like it. Drummer Radel Wosko is another Polish jazz musician now living in Denmark. He also spent a year travelling in the USA and West Africa before making the album Atlantic. The quartet has musicians from three different countries.

Valer Muker is from Slovakia. The music is calm and peaceful, like the title of the tune I played and has the feel of native folk roots influences. The band is a trio, augmented on occasions by guitar. Finally, I returned to The Beat Freaks and a tune from their album Leon. The band have an interesting and individualistic sound and are led by sax player Tomasz Licak. He was born in Poland but is now based in – yes, you guessed it – Copenhagen, Denmark!

  1. Adam Pieronczyk – Monte Alban Blues from Monte Alban
  2. Cracow Jazz Collective – Jazz Drama from No More Drama
  3. Artur Tuznik Trio – Hymn for Copenhagen from Artur Tuznik Trio
  4. Pawel Wszolek Quintet – Dar Wiary from Faith
  5. Radek Wasko Atlantic Quintet – Summer Sessions from Atlantic
  6. Valer Muker Trio – Calm and Peaceful from Vibrations, States, Emotions
  7. The Beat Freaks – Pod Noske from Leon

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