KRZYSZTOF POPEK QUINTET
Whoever got in touch with the leading Polish jazzmen, whoever listened to them playing, and now will recognize the players on this disc, will surely know what to expect: virtuoso mastery- of course!, beauty of improvisation-obviously! But first of all, it's going to be sound in several dimensions. Sonoristic qualities of these players, their very personal traits, create here a true ensemble magic, the magic of adapting individual sounds to each other, which makes imperceptible the borderlines and moments of the main thread's interceptions. After all, the alto flute and the fluegelhorn are separate realms of colour. But even piano and bass manage to merge with them and emerge toward their own solos. Krzysztof Popek and his excellent partners are probably born to form an alliance of colouristic refinement. On gets an impression they transmit the same kind of sound, and maybe that's why the moments of change escape our attention. But that is not all. When the alto flute takes over from the fluegelhorn, it continues initially the similar type of improvisation. Maybe the choice of pieces serves especially well in stressing that rare kind of sound-empathy. It seems obvious that "Estate" and "Black Narcissus" call for subtleties of sound. One can also hear the rarely applied gentle overlappings, tying together the endings and the beginnings of neighbouring solos. In the similar mood run both compositions by Krzysztof Popek, "Just Groovin'" and "Letters and Leaves". After all, groove means a proper mood to make self-expression fully possible and in that sense the whole CD might be called "Just Groovin'". The last two numbers, while sustaining the groove, go deeper into American Idiom, making players comfortable in 4/4 time. In Shorter's ballad rendition there is a wonderful piano improvisation, one of the best one could come across. F. Hubbard's "Sky Dive" is a hear-warming medicine for those craving for resolute bass walking and a healthy modern highway of jazz. Here is a perfectly balanced whole.
Krzysztof Popek - alto flute, Piotr Wojtasik - fluegelhorn,
Volker Greve - vibes, Paul Imm - bas, Cezary Konrad -drums.