Mateusz Kołakowski & Dave Liebman – Jazz Standard
Recenzja Dave Liebman
Clichés: statements one hears ad nauseum and tend to disbelieve after awhile, but sometimes the reason clichés exist is that they are true. Cliché #1 Young musicians these days are incredibly advanced and way ahead of the curve (possibly because of the preponderance of good jazz education?) Cliché #2: Jazz is a universal language and that more than ever has no geographical borders. Cliché #3: It is still liberating and a challenge to play on "standards" and a wonderful way for musicians to get to know each other.
Somewhere around 2002-03 I was introduced to Mateusz who was just a teenager at the time. Since then we have corresponded with news of his budding success, his studies in both classical and jazz and of course tapes of his playing to which I would make comments. Finally, we met at his invitation to play one night at the Jazz Standard sponsored by the Polish Cultural Institute. We named a few mutual standards, discussed some very bare "arrangements" and played. This CD is the result.
All the above "clichés" hold true here. Mateusz is an extremely talented pianist, trained in the way so many musicians from Eastern Europe are in the classical tradition. A few days ago he told me he is working on Prokoviev's 2nd Piano Concerto, which by coincidence was a point of discussion between my old compatriot, pianist Richie Beirach and myself a few months ago-not an easy piece!! (In fact, Mateusz reminds me a lot of Richie in his depth of harmonic understanding and of course prodigious technique.) The fact that we could so quickly communicate playing old war horse tunes is a testament to the universality of jazz as well as the material itself. I am very proud to have met such a great young talent and fine human being. This gentleman is well on his way in the musical world-we can only wait, see and listen.