Last autumn fans of jazz and improvised music got a special treat: the 1st of September 2018 premiere of Piotr Schmidt Quartet’s celebration release, Saxesful, and a series of follow-up concerts across Poland.
The stellar trumpeter Piotr Schmidt is accompanied by a constellation of Polish luminaries of the saxophone: Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Henryk Miśkiewicz, Grzech Piotrowski, Maciej Sikała, Piotr Baron and Adam Wendt – both on the album and live, performed in Poland’s best concert halls. Expect supernovas: jazz standards arranged and played to stay in the heart for light years.
Piotr Schmidt Quartet features the old master Wojciech Niedziela on the piano, and RGG (Okeh Records) Trio’s bassist Maciej Garbowski and drummer Krzysztof Gradziuk.
Piotr Schmidt Quartet’s Saxesful: the best hits with the best sax players in the best concert halls. Jazz: the beauty of art.
"Saxesful" sounds like it's recorded by amerikan jazz stars.
Marek Dusza (Audio)
(...) Polish jazz, one of the most vital and ingenious local scenes on the world scale, which started while the country was still isolated from the rest of the world by the Iron Curtain, managed to flourish and explode artistically over the years, against all odds. Today Poland is a jazz superpower, leading the European jazz scene in every aspect, all thanks to the seemingly inexhaustible influx of young and talented musicians who treat their jazz as seriously as their life.
prof. Adam Baruch, (The Soundtrack Of My Life)
It isn’t often that you hear music which awes with its melodiousness: it rocks you, relaxes you, transports you emotionally to the most beautiful moments in the past; and at the same time it challenges you with wonderful artistic subtleties which only come through if you pay profound attention and analyse this phrase, or that individual note.
Piotr Bielawski (Radio Łódź, Ether Jazzu)
The melancholy ballad You Don’t Know What Love Is, performed by Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski with Schmidt’s Quartet; Gershwin’s Summertime, spiritual at first but turning into a duel between the leader Piotr Schmidt’s trumpet and Piotr Baron’s saxophone with the mantric double bass riff as their second; the dazzlingly arranged, 13-minute long What a Wonderful World with Grzech Piotrowski; and finally the Thelonious Monk blues, Blue Monk, with Adam Wendt simply enchanting with his saxophone: these are just a few reasons any self-respecting lover of Polish jazz should pick up this album.
Robert Ratajczak (longplayrecenzje.blox.pl)
- Stella By Starlight - Victor Young (feat. Henryk Miśkiewicz)
- Interlude - Piotr Schmidt Quartet
- You Don't Know What Love Is - Raye-DePaul (feat. Jan "Ptaszyn" Wróblewski)
- Alice In Wonderland - Sammy Fain (feat. Zbigniew Namysłowski)
- Central Park West - John Coltrane (feat. Maciej Sikała)
- Summertime - George Gershwin (feat. Piotr Baron)
- Song For Tomasz - Piotr Schmidt Quartet
- What A Wonderful World - Weiss-Thiele (feat. Grzech Piotrowski)
- Blue Monk - Thelonious Monk (feat. Adam Wendt)
(...) Piotr Schmidt (born 1985) is certainly one of those Polish jazz mavericks. Not only is he well educated, talented and ambitious, but he is also a restless entrepreneur, record label owner, bandleader and educator who keeps constantly coming up with new ideas, maintaining his jazz alive and kicking.
(...) This album is a multilayered tribute to the jazz tradition. It presents seven classic Jazz standards, each performed by the core quartet and featuring a different saxophonist. The list of the saxophonists reads like the who's who of Polish Jazz and is also an obvious tribute to Polish jazz itself.
(...) This album is also a wonderful collection of great tunes, beautifully performed and entertaining, in the most positive meaning of the word. Jazz is, after all, also a source of unadulterated pleasure to those, who lave it, and this album is certainly a concentrated dose of such pleasure. Enjoy!
prof. Adam Baruch (The Soundtrack Of My Life)