Wojtek Mazolewski, bassist, composer and focal point of Poland’s rich jazz scene, shares his latest and arguably greatest outing so far, for Whirlwind Recordings. ‘Spirit To All’ is a richly composed, performed, arranged and recorded album deep in the realms of the best spiritual jazz, Strata East, etc, free of any copy cat cliches.
Wojtek and co perform ‘Spirit To All’, live at London’s famous Jazz Cafe this evening, with support from Lanquidity Records’ Adrian Magrys, after an incredible impromptu solo and jam session at Total Refreshment Centre, North East London. Do not miss if they come to your town! More information from the label below.
Spirit To All is the latest record by Polish bassist and composer Wojtek Mazolewski and his famed Quintet (WMQ). Mazolewski’s distinctive voice and vision are highly lauded and widely recognized for his contribution to the resurgence in Polish jazz and improv music on a global, crossover scale.
Leading his long-time quintet of Joanna Duda, Marek Pospieszalski, Oskar Török and Qba Janicki, Spirit To All is Mazolewski’s third Whirlwind Recordings release following Polka – Worldwide Deluxe Edition and When Angels Fall.
“Spirit To All was created as an answer to our spiritual needs,” explains Mazolewski, “during my preparations for recording I felt simultaneous connection between myself and everything around me. There was this urge within me to express my unity with the surroundings. The very same need was strongly felt by the band and the best way to express it was through the music.” From the start Mazolewski had clear intentions for the album: “Until 2020 we were touring the world and despite all the travel limitations that followed, we wanted to say: we are here, we are all in it together. This album is about spiritual needs, limitless and loving understanding, about compassionate development.”
The seven-piece record opens with title track ‘Spirit To All’. Inspired by spirituality, the melody contains both sad and joyous moments, mirroring the same juxtaposition of life. ‘Ghost Town’ is a sonic tale of a deserted place, focusing on the subtle consonance of the instruments. “It’s all about articulation, sonority and playing with sound,” explains Mazolewski.
‘The Power Of The People’ acts as a reminder of our strength and potential. This idea is manifested by cacophonous sections and robust melodies.
In contrast, ‘Slavic Spirits’ is a subtle atmospheric track. “‘Harmony’ is all we need to find best solutions for our future,” says Mazolewski and the track is a liberating realisation of that sentiment.
‘The Year Of Magical Thinking’ is a title borrowed from Joan Didion’s book about life’s suffering and how to use it to our gain. “This piece is about life’s journey – spiritual, internal and psychedelic at times,” reflects Mazolewski. ‘My Heart’ is gentle and “expresses our gratitude for life, closeness and love,” he says.
Speaking to the spirit in which the album was recorded, Mazolewski says: “I love the abstract arrhythmic sonic backgrounds of Sun Ra and Art Ensemble of Chicago, but there weren’t any other musicians available, so I decided that we would record all percussion instruments ourselves. In the recording room, some of us had instruments, some of us sang, but only a few of us were wearing headphones hearing the music. This meant the others had to intuitively find and feel the pulse. The experiment made the WMQ sound even richer and we had such great fun doing it.”
Having played together for over 10 years, WMQ share a deep and innate connection that’s palpable throughout their music. Spirit To All is a cathartic manifestation of Mazolewski’s inspiring intentions, “It made us come together again and reawaken the sense of adventure. We feel truly reborn as a band.”