Jacek Kochan | Monorain | Not Two Records

Jacek Kochan – drums | Andre Leroux – tenor sax, soprano sax (1, 3, 5, 7) | Adam Pierończyk – tenor, soprano sax (2, 4, 6) | Michel Donato – bass (1, 3, 5, 7) | Sławomir Kurkiewicz – bass (2, 4, 6) | Grzegorz Nagórski – trombone (2, 6) | Piotr Wojtasik – trumpet (2, 4, 6) | Jean Pierre Zanella – alto, soprano sax (1, 3, 5, 7) Continue reading

Adam Pierończyk | Ed Schuller | Jacek Kochan | Plastinated Black Sheep | Not Two Records

PBS is a 1999’s trio led by drummer Jacek Kochan. The dominant style here is an Ornette-ish kind of free blues feel, with material contributed by all three men. Kochan, who directs the musical flow from the traps, studied in the U.S. back in the Eighties, and he combines the melodic drumming of a master like Max Roach with the polyrhythmic approach to Elvin Jones. His beat is infectious, and so is the lift he brings to a band. Considering that you can feel that kind of energy through your home stereo, imagine how inspiring it must be to be sharing a bandstand with Kochan. Saxophonist Pieronczyk has an attractively gruff sound on tenor, loose and facile with hints of Sixties-era Rollins and Coltrane. His soprano is a pleasant surprise, controlled and tuneful. Kochan’s “Sparrow Dance” is his soprano feature, as he races bassist Ed Schuller’s busy throb and the composer’s pounding drums to the end. Schuller is in his element here, with a lot of space to fill with his massive sound and an active rhythm partner in Kochan. He also contributes two compositions. His “Sooner Then Before” is a dedication to the late Jaki Byard, with Pieronczyk on tenor charging through the melody urged on by Kochan and the composr’s probing bass. It’s a long track, but they prove time and again on the CD that they can grab and hold the listener’s interest without strain, even on original tunes that run as long as ten minutes. The other long piece, “For Walter” by Pieronczyk, is a tender song that evokes a relaxed performance and a spirited tenor solo. All told, an ispired first-time encounter among three musicians with limitless imaginations and big ears. Very hip, and recommended. — Stuart Kremsky (Cadence) Continue reading

Jacek Kochan | Joe Fonda | Franz Hautzinger | Tellef Ogrim | musicConspiracy | Do I The In? | Not Two Records

This was recorded live at Alchemia in Cracow in September of 2007 and has excellent sound. I had not heard of Polish drum wiz, Jacek Kochan, before we got a half dozen discs of his from Not Two & Gowi. After reviewing a few of them I was impressed with his playing, arranging and the varied personnel on each disc. This new disc also has an inspired line-up of musicians from Austria (FH), Norway (TO), Poland (JK) and the US (JF). Each player has contributed two pieces as well as three great groups improvisations. Starting with Joe Fonda’s “Song for My Mother”, the rhythm team hits their stride quickly with some twisted fretless guitar and Miles-like electric trumpet up front. What is great here is how well the guitar and electric trumpet play together and sound similar. On “Golden Angel”, the bowed bass, el. guitar and mutant trumpet seem to complete each other’s line as they swerve around one another and bend their notes close. The band swings hard on “Feed the Hamster” with Franz taking that great Electric Miles-like tone and squeezing it higher. The ever-incredible Joe Fonda sounds splendid throughout as his bass buzzes underneath all of the action, creating a tight connection with Jacek’s uplifting drums. All four of these musicians are play wonderfully throughout, exchanging ideas, tossing riffs back and forth and consistently surprising us with their tight, interconnected tapestry. Another outstanding disc from the folks at Not Two. — Bruce Lee Gallanter, Downtown Music Gallery Continue reading

Jacek Kochan | Another Blowfish | Not Two Records

The dexterous Wojtasik is a relaxed and thoughtful improviser who seems more comfortable in the midrange of his horn. The equally articulate Vloeimans has a more piercing sound, and he’s more into using mutes as part of his bag of tricks. By mixing tempos and rhythmic feels while exploiting the contrasting sounds of Vloeimans and Wojtasik, the set maintains interst throughout. Donato, with a huge and round sound, is like a rock, the solid core of the performances. Kochan is more laid-back then usual, urgent as ever but leaving most of the solo space to the horns. The yaunty “Do You Really Need All This Money” is one of the highlights, as Vloeimans and Wojtasik go at it head to head. Truth is that there’s barely a dull moment on this disc. Come for the novelty of the lineup, but stay for the fine music. — Stuart Kremsky (Cadence) Continue reading