MACIEJ SIKALA "Blue destinations"
It takes a good deal of selfconfidence, skill and creative talent to play in a pianoless group. The steady presence of chordal sounds - be it guitar - is of invaluable support, you seemingly can't dispose of. True, it was rejected and slighted in the '60-s by the free - jazz avantgarde, but the majority of harmony - oriented hornplayers preferred not to take chances. But then, many older jazz afficjonados recall the experiments (successful) in the "50-s, by the brilliant West Coast exponents, Chet Baker, Gerry Mulligan and Bob Brookmeyer. To say they succeeded is not enough. It was an excellent jazz. The same can be said of Jimmy Giuffre's trios. Those men had harmony in their bones.
Here we listen to this CD and have the similar thing to admire: Maciek Sikala pianoless trio, but with the basist Ryszard Tymon Tymanski, who can be blamed for any kind of musical extravaganza, but who surely doesn't lack harmonic thinking and so he provides sufficient background and support. Jacek Olter is a versatile drummer who feels equally at ease with swing, freaky ideas or hard rock rhythms. So, Maciek can rely on his partners, the more so that he knows them thoroughly for many years. As to his harmonic and melodic imagination., there's no worry. He spread his wings already during his studies at the Katowice Academy of Music, when he won the 1-st Prize in the 1986 International Jazz Improvisation Competition. Since then he proved his worth again and again, playing with highranking groups: Quintessence, Milosc, Rodowicz Quartet, Piotr Wojtasik Formation. He gained approval and admiration.
Like many distinguished tenor-players, he finally took to soprano saxophone. We can hear his soprano improvisations and we marvel: an opalescent, well-rounded tone, even and simply beatiful; something that broadens his tenor playing virtuosity. Inventive? Well, what do expect from an improvisation competition prize-winner? - Besides, there are his compositions to convince you. As to his partnership understanding it's almost metaphisical, as it should be.
Improvised soli by Sikala form perfectly build and melodious compositions. All in all, I invite you to just listen and enjoy. For this is jazz, and an exquisite one.