At the Jazz Jantar Festival in Żak Club Dominik Bukowski – our most important vibraphonist – and his quartet with Amir ElSaffar – one of the most interesting and original trumpeters of contemporary jazz! Tonight, this musical evening is coming back to us on an album released today by the Fundacja Słuchaj!
There are few musical traditions (seemingly) that differ as much as Polish and Arabic. Initially, only the inquisitiveness of the Gdańsk vibraphonist and composer, Dominik Bukowski, allowed us to find a common area of Polish folk melodies with a Middle Eastern musical idiom taken from Oskar Kolberg’s priceless collection. Turning to Amir ElSaffar was a natural turn of events. The outstanding Iraqi-American trumpeter agreed to join the Gdańsk-based project, engaging his knowledge and intuition of the traditional Aramaic maqam melodic system. Thanks to his excellent musicality, technical perfection, deep understanding and sense of his own musical roots, filtration of Polish folk melodies with maqam scales and jazz approach resulted in a material that turns out to be more than just a simple combination of styles. The three elements came together in a seamless alloy, bringing a new quality to what we know as the folk jazz scene. Invalidating the cultural distance in the way Dominik Bukowski and Amir ElSaffar played together with the other members of the quartet: Adam Żuchowski (double bass) and Patryk Dobosz (drums) require considerable talent. The premiere concert recorded on the album took place on the stage of Gdańsk’s Żak, where the quartet played during the Jazz Jantar 2016 festival. It is high time to present this music to a wider audience!