19 October 2012

Boys’ music

Pawel Karszmarczyk came with his Audiofeeling Band from Poland with all the confidence in the world and a cool, youthful presentation and recent awards for his album and for him as pianist so I was looking forward to this one. I was disappointed. Not with his playing or the playing of any of the other band members. Pawel was wonderfully slick and skilled and expressive and had a great tone and obvious classical chops. He was very good. So was Grezch Piotrwski who blew fast and hard on tenor sax that flowed through tonal and atonal lines with nonchalant ease. And Maciej on bass did some cool solos and held the rhythm with solidity and played with synths for some nifty sounds and Dawid Fortuna played with speed and abandon. It wasn’t that. I was just disappointed that this was just all it was. This was boys’ music - hot skills and lots of energy and every solo crescendoed to abandon – but the melodies were mostly obvious and the chords were common and repeated and I heard Hollywood rather than New York. Did I mention, they were tight and arranged, too: recorded-rock-band tight. These players were worthy and sometimes I even enjoy West Coast music with its slick commercialism and succulent popularity. But when I think of that gig with Jason Moran and his sense of history and his similarly cool Gen-? presence, I just wish for more. I asked the guy I was sitting with what he thought and he responded “It’s OK” and he had it spot on. Pawel could be so good. He’s got great sound and perfect touch and endless skills but this was just OK to my ears. Perhaps because he could be so good that it’s so disappointing. He’s got plenty of time, as long as those awards don’t kill whatever humility he has. The Audiofeeling Band was led by Pawel Karszmarczyk (piano) with Grezch Piotrwski (tenor sax), Macirj Adamczak (bass) and Dawid Fortuna (drums).

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