Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Best Albums of 2011: Tomasz Licak & Artur Tuznik

JazzWrap revisits a great year of discoveries in 2011.

Tomasz Licak (sax) & Artur Tuznik (piano)
Quintet (Blackout Music; 2011)
Andreas Lang (bass)
Anders Mogensen (drums)
Tomasz Dabrowski (trumpet)

In a similar fashion to The Fowser/Gillece Quintet, Tomasz Licak and Artur Tuznik debut a new group this year with the simple title, Quintet. It's has all the traditional elements of a modern jazz record but with nice balance of hard bop and a few refreshing breaks in improvisation. Licak's horn is bold and well rounded. While Tuznik adds soft melodies when needed and an almost McCoy Tyner-esque rhythm. 

The group can definitely swing ("Uwaga"), caress a note ("Nardis") and even set the flame ("Hobbit"). Early into the session, "Rainman" provides a nice glimpse into the bond this group have develop as Lang and Mogensen move things along at groovy but sweet pattern. 

The Polish/Danish quintet wrap and number of influences but still come out with something fresh and rewarding. The are American effects at play but Licak and Tuznik are developing their own voice. And that voice should hopefully expand beyond Poland and across Europe and hopefully stateside some time soon. We hope. Read MoreQuintet is an excellent contemporary record and real must listen in 2011.

As always, many thanks to Maciej at Polish Jazz blog for turning me on to Licak and Tuznik.

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