DAVID WAKEFIELD Norwich Playhouse (Norfolk and Norwich Festival)


Norwich Playhouse (Norfolk and Norwich Festival)

For fairly obvious historical reasons, jazz is still a comparatively young musical form in Poland.

Few names are familiar to Western ears, apart from the trumpeter Tomasz Stanko; but all that could change when this ensemble becomes more established. Signing for the ECM label, home of flawless and painstaking recordings, represents a huge step in that direction.

The festival organisers obviously love these lightweight Euro trios - not that the term 'lightweight' should be taken in the Alan Sugar sense; I'm talking dynamics here. TRIO - Marcin Wasilewski (piano), Slawomir Kurkiewicz (bass) and Michal Miskeiwicz (drums) - could well be spoken in the same terms as the Tord Gustavsen Trio, back in the city on Friday, for the delicacy of their playing.

At least that's how it all began, but there were glimpses of real meaty swinging jazz here. Wasilewski is a highly animated performer who really lives his music. He crouches over the keyboard, a la Stan Tracey, but as tempi increase so do his body movements and, on a swinger like Wayne Shorter's Plaza Real, he must have shed many calories.

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I was impressed with Kurkiewicz's accomplished bass playing, but felt that Miskeiwicz forgot the 'lightweight' script at times by being rather too intrusive with over-loud cymbal work. A minor gripe, though. TRIO is definitely a name to look out for.

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