14th Annual - All Souls Jazz All Souls Jazz & Chopin Productions

 Polish jazz blossoms at the Chopin Theatre - "No other music festival in Chicago feels quite like the All Souls event, which features multiple bands on upstairs and downstairs stages of the Chopin Theatre. As listeners flow from one performance room to another, they pause to talk, sip beverages, munch on food and otherwise intermingle. Music and conversation intertwine at the All Souls Jazz Festival, and a single language predominates: Polish. - Howard Reich Arts critic, Chicago Tribune 11/13/12.


$40/$45 at door 


 


11/12/12 - 11/12/12

7pm


Polish jazz blossoms at the Chopin Theatre - Howard Reich Arts critic, Chicago Tribune 11/13/12"Jazz took root in Poland long ago – even before World War II – and the country has prized it ever since.

If the music lived underground in the 1950s, when the Soviet Union considered it "decadent," Polish listeners – and their brethren elsewhere behind the Iron Curtain – knew that jazz signified freedom and surreptitiously treasured it.

To this day, jazz flourishes in Polish culture, and the proof was there to see and hear Monday night at the Chopin Theatre, where the 14th annual All Souls Jazz Festival cast a spotlight on Polish jazz musicians (and others) from both sides of the Atlantic.

No other music festival in Chicago feels quite like the All Souls event, which features multiple bands on upstairs and downstairs stages of the Chopin Theatre. As listeners flow from one performance room to another, they pause to talk, sip beverages, munch on food and otherwise intermingle. Music and conversation intertwine at the All Souls Jazz Festival, and a single language predominates: Polish. If you didn't know better, you'd swear you were in a Krakow café.

Though the music-making ranged from inspired art to work decidedly more mundane, the best performers reminded listeners of the distinctive qualities of Polish jazz.

No band proved more effective than the Antykwariat Jazz Quintet, an ensemble of expat Polish musicians that thrived in Europe in the 1980s and re-emerged in Chicago – in somewhat altered form – in 2006. Playing original scores and familiar repertoire, Antykwariat epitomized the high lyricism of Polish music, as expressed through contemporary jazz vocabularies.

Flutist Mieczyslaw Wolny stood at the center of the group's musical identity, his translucent tone, long-lined melodies and delicately embellished phrases equally alluring in ballads and uptempo fare. With bracing harmonic support from keyboardist Slawomir Bielawiec and soaring lines from guitarist Jan Zienko, the quintet reaffirmed that substantive jazz improvisation and utterly accessible melody making are not mutually exclusive.

That much was evident in a ballad reading of music from Roman Polanski's "Rosemary's Baby" penned by the revered Polish jazz composer Krzysztof Komeda. Antykwariat has made something of a signature of this work, and the musicians' slow-burn crescendos and complex but tautly controlled solos said a lot about the integrity of their work. This is a band that doesn't need to shout its achievements; it trusts listeners to recognize the subtleties of its music.

The Polish guitarist Jarek Smietana also represented a high point in the festival's offerings, his sleekly drawn phrases and not-a-wasted-note solos ranking him among the better European jazz guitarists. Like many Polish musicians, he gravitated to music of Chopin, taking on one of the master's most celebrated melodies, the main theme of the Etude in E Major (which classic-pop listeners know as the tune "No Other Love"). Smietana informed his audience that here he was merging Chopin with Jimi Hendrix, though Smietana's comparatively tame solos carried a lot less Hendrix than he believed. Still, there was no denying the craft and ingenuity of this work.

It took a certain degree of audacity for Smietana to segue into an extended blues segment – with guest vocalist – in the city that created the modern template for the music. The guitarist offered credible if predictable solos, but the hollow rasps of Australian singer Billy Neal represented a sad facsimile of the real thing. The saving grace here came from keyboardist Vijay Tellis-Nayak, whose weighty solos and atmospheric colors more often than not outshone everyone else on the bandstand.

Elsewhere in the evening, there was smoldering lyricism from Polish born, Chicago-based vocalist Grazyna Auguscik; technically challenged but lusty boogie romps from pianist Tad "Teemac" Janik with harmonica player Buzz Krantz; and generic fare from the Chicago band Wishing Well, which was partly redeemed by the elegant solos of the emerging pianist Bill Cessna.

Add up its many triumphs and scattered disappointments, and the All Souls Jazz Festival stands as a compelling event on Chicago's fall cultural calendar. Must we wait a full year for another?

More Grazyna Auguscik

Those who missed Grazyna Auguscik at the All Souls Jazz Festival have an opportunity to hear her this weekend in sets devoted to her newest project. Auguscik has just released "Man Behind the Sun: Songs of Nick Drake," her perspective on the melancholic music of the eclectic, short-lived British singer-songwriter. Auguscik will lead a top-notch band staffed by trumpeter James Davis, pianist Rob Clearfield, bassist Matt Ulery and drummer Jon Deitemyer, all of whom are on the album, plus guitarist John Kregor (taking the place of John McLean). Shows start at 9 p.m. Friday and 8 p.m. Saturday at the Green Mill Jazz Club, 4802 N. Broadway; $12; 773-878-5552 or greenmilljazz.com.

 

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All Souls Jazz Fest – the biggest and unique annual Polish-American Music Festival of internationally renowned jazz artists and talented young performers. The festival mirrors an annual jazz festival in the historic city of Krakow, Poland. Over time, the Chicago counterpart has grown to become a popular event with both the large Polish community and American music connoisseurs. This year, as many as 50+ musicians, representing 10+ groups of various jazz styles (among them: Grazyna Auguscik, Jarek Smietana, Marcin Januszkiewicz & Frieda Lee, Matt Ulery, Arek Religa, Antykwariat, Wishing Well, Ted Janik…and more), will give enchanted performances on two stages at the Chopin Theatre on Monday, November 12th, from 7:00 PM

 

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All Souls' Day International Jazz Festival  (Zaduszki Jazzowe w Chicago)
November 12, 2012 at 7:00 PM Chopin Theatre, Chicago
Info:  www.allsoulsjazz.com , www.zaduszkijazzowe.com  (773) 457-7267

Fanów dobrego jazzu zapraszamy jak co roku do udziału w dorocznym festiwalu jazzowym „ZADUSZKI JAZZOWE W CHICAGO” (ALL SOULS JAZZ FEST) , który odbędzie się w dniu 12 listopada 2012, od 7 wieczorem do wczesnych godzin porannych, tradycyjnie w Chopin Theatre. Impreza ta z roku na rok dorobiła się licznej i wiernej publiczności nie tyko wśród Polonii ale i w muzycznym środowisku amerykańskim będąc okazałą wizytówką naszej polskiej kultury w Chicago. To świetna okazja do spotkania znajomych, powspominania tych co odeszli, oraz wysłuchania ponad tuzina koncertów różnych formacji i stylów tej pięknej muzyki, w wykonaniu gwiazd światowego formatu ( Grazyna Auguscik, Jarek Smietana, Marcin Januszkiewicz & Frieda Lee, Matt Ulery, Arek Religa, Antykwariat, Wishing Well, Ted Janik… i innych), jak i popularnych czy początkujących miejscowych muzyków. I w tym roku Was nie zawiedziemy: ponad 50-tka wykonawców zagra na dwóch scenach teatru równocześnie...

Przed nami kolejna cudowna, magiczna jazzowa noc.
Tak jak co roku w Krakowie.....

 

Performers
Grazyna Auguscik, Jarek Smietana, Matt Ulery & Loom, Antykwariat Quintet, Arek Religa Jazz Quartet, Marcin Januszkiewicz & Chicago Coalition Quintet featuring Frieda Lee , Tad-TeeMac-Janik featuring Buzz Krantz, Wishing Well Band

Tags: Music, Polish, Social, New Europe, 2012