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  • Data:

    2009-09-27 - 2009-12-06

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  • Fundacja Dom Kultury Alchemia

  • Klub Alchemia

Over 3 months, 55 artists from all over the world, 18 concerts, 2 exhibitions. Free music, dazzling with cascades of sounds continually interacting with each other. This is what the 4th edition of Kraków Jazz Fall promises – a festival regarded by Polish critics as one of the most important jazz events of recent years.

From 27 September to 3 December during the 4th Kraków Jazz Fall the absolute vanguard of free jazz will be presenting their music. Also appearing will be units that are less known but already noticed and appreciated in their musical milieu. The majority of concerts (all start at 8pm) will be taking place in Alchemia, where the main organiser of the festival is based. This review of methods of approaching free improvisation will be arranged into its own distinctive map of sounds. We will be able to hear performers from the United States, Norway, China, Sweden, England, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Ukraine, Germany, France, Switzerland, Japan, Austria, Spain and Poland. A real agglomeration of music of a kind which attracts as many eulogists as detractors. Artists connected with this movement are sometimes feted to the heavens or alternatively, stripped of any chance of adulation or faith being shown in what they stand for. Miles Davis scorned free jazz but Tomasz Stańko was enamoured with it for many years.

First off (27.09) is a performance by Swiss percussion master, Lucas Niggli. A laid back virtuosity, occasional risk taking, unpredictability and a note of mystery – these are features of his playing. It’s quite possible that the ardent, elemental relationship that Lucas has with his percussion kit was influenced by a childhood spent in Cameroon. During his career, Niggli has worked with such vocalists as Sainkho Namchylak, Anna Grichting and Franziska Baumann. Accompanying him in Alchemia will be Xu Fengxia, an artist born in Shanghai who plays on the traditional Chinese plucked instruments, the guzheng and sanxian. The energy, power and at the same time tenderness with which she charms out sounds exotic to the European ear are a distinguishing feature of her music. This promises to be a voyage to distant jazz climes.

In the following months, concerts by the Chicagoan New Fracture Quartet (1.10) and the international Basement Research (4.10) also await us. Arriving from England will be a married couple, Maya Homburger and Barry Guy, who will be presenting (9.10) their own unusual project based on Maya’s Baroque violin and Barry’s double bass. Guy will also be appearing with two Spaniards: pianist Agustí Fernández and percussionist Ramón López (10.10).

It’s difficult to imagine Kraków Jazz Fall without Ken Vandermark. The Chicagoan saxophonist loves the Polish audiences and the feeling’s mutual. In October in the catacombs of Kazimierz’s Alchemia, as well as in the Manggha Museum, we will be able to see him with the Resonance group (19-21.10). Kraków will be the venue for the official release of their new album. The three concerts by this Vandermark line up will be the prelude to a world tour!

The big event at this year’s edition of the festival will without a doubt be the concert by the William Parker trio (15.11). Accompanying the unconventional bassist will be saxophonist Roy Campbell and percussionist Hamid Drake, while at the end of November (30.11), other greats from over the pond will be appearing: Larry Ochs & Drumming Core. Kraków Jazz Fall also won’t be lacking in representatives of the contemporary Polish jazz scene. These include: Mikołaj Trzaska, Raphael Rogiński and Tomasz Sowiński’s War Songs project (6.10), Ensemble 56 (3.12), as well as Wacław Zimpel with Hera (19.11).

A musical adventure awaits us on autumn evenings – with no fixed plan and a dose of uncertainty but, thanks to the virtuosic abilities of these leading lights, certainly rounded off with happy ending pleasing to the ear.

(Artur Jackowski, ‘Karnet’ monthly)

Full programme at: www.alchemia.com.pl