JAREK SMIETANA TRIO "You never know"
Jarek Smietana doesn't practically need a publicity. For more than 10 years he is recognized the best Polish jazz-guitar player. However, his artistic personality must undergo constant revaluations, since his amazing creative powers an ambition are a driving force of constant progress and search for his best possible self. Watching his artistic career from its beginning, which means from the period of his Extra Ball band, one could notice some plateaux and peaks which could be a comfortable stay for a man of lesser caliber. Jarek however, besides his unyielding ambition that made him his own and best manager, has an usual artistic honesty, guiding his development. Along with a growing consciousness of a truly creative artist his virtuosity have grown. Jarek's technical dexterity is universal, equally embracing the single line and harmonic complexities as well. He can both combine them in a colourful, shimmering fabric which is beauty in itself. Jarek swings, for his mastery enables the smooth flow with the proper accents and inflections that are essential for swinging. Listen to the first number, Sweet Georgia Bright: it presents exactly that aspect of his style and possibilities. Still another is an ability to create ingeniously the mood-introduction leading to the main theme. These pieces were recorded during a live concert, and so the music is more precious because of its spontaneity. Three excellent players, without the usual help form a piano, manage to cope with the beauty potential in an amazing way. It only happens, when the jazzmen are complete masters of their craft. Ronnie Burrage, the seasoned partner of Rollins, McCoy Tyner, Marsalis and McFerrin, is here simply wonderful. His play is a kind of musical wisdom: fluency, swing, delicate touch, balanced and articulated interventions, stemming form an inspiring invention. Andrzej Cudzich has been Jarek's favourite bassist for a long time and so their mutual understanding is complete. Famous for his huge sound he is sensitive and distinct at the same time. Listen how they emerge from the background to play a supportive role. All numbers are delightful. My favourite though is Hamiet Bluiett's blues - a masterpiece of sound - architecture, with its heavy beat, guitar chordal sequences and intertwining voices. There is also one funky number stemming from the glory years of jazz - rock, Hancock's Chameleon, which reminds us of Smietana's own early fascinations, by now long discarded. The gamut of tempi and moods is supported by a surprising richness of sound. And yet - it's only three instruments.