Development of a musical personality usually runs through typical stages: from
basing on traditional aesthetic and formal patterns via establishing own vision
of art to - very frequently - total rejection of classical inspiration ahd
creating "new" music. Krzysztof Zgraja's career took quite an opposite course.
Being a versatile, trained musician, a graduate of Instrumental and Theory and
Composition Departments of the Katowice Academy of Music, he was particularly
interested in contemporary music and contemporary composition techniques.
Thus, he turned his attention to that kind of jazz that would allow for
sonoristic experiments and formal exsplorations, that is - free jazz. The
results were quite effective, still the composer decided to withdraw from this
nowhere-to-go road to turn back to Tradition to penetrate and study sources of
the present image of jazz. This "back-to-the-roots" movement was apparently
and convincibly fruitful; it turned out that the blues, be bop, straight-ahead
jazz, latin music, combined with experience and erudition can expose to the
world new qualities, new colours and emotions. Zgraja's turn to Tradition
resulted, among others, in cutting this album. You will not find, however, any
of the well-known standards on this record but the climate, flavour and essence
of jazz are evident.
The record is a picturesque collage of what is most important, most fascinating
in jazz today. You will find then the blues, a classical ballad, a melody
rooted in Andalusian music and a funky-jazz miniature - all flavoured with
other, colouristic ingredients. The composer still continues to exploit a
limited range of electronic sound-shaping equipment to multiply and process the
sound of his flutes - eg. echoplex, triplex, harmonizer and flanger. They are
frequently used as a playback-produced counterpoint wich results in creation of
a multi-dimensional and colourful phenomenon. This, combined with a unique
invention of the musicians gives an effect that cannot be missed.
"Luz Blues" (Take-It-Easy Blues) with the most traditional exposition of the
theme, vigorous and Spanish-like "La Concha" with a superbe solo of the guest
star Zbigniew Namyslowski and an obsessive theme of the title tune "Laokoon"
these are the titles that deserve special recognition. After all, the whole
record will not loosen your attention even for a while, which must be credited
both to the author and composer of all tunes Krzysztof Zgraja and to the
collaborating musicians who, being sort of differently shaped musicians did not
fail to find the formula for common playing.
lt´s a great and fascinating record, indeed.