The Polish saxophonist Mikołaj Trzaska will be playing two dates in England in July with the Riverloam Trio in which he joins bass player Olie Brice and drummer Mark Sanders. These are at London’s Café Oto on Tuesday 16th July (8.30) and Birmingham’s Polish Club on Wednesday 17th July (8pm). This is the second time they have toured England, the first time being five years ago. They have also played together in Poland a number of times, and will be playing four dates there before the UK dates.
A recording of the trio at the Jazz Od Nowa Festival in Poland can be watched here. It gives a very good idea of what to expect from the two UK gigs. The music is free jazz at its very best with a totally integrated group. Trzaska is an extremely fluent and original improviser whose solos move constantly and seamlessly from one idea to another in ways that strike me as being different from other improvisers. Some have compared his playing to that of the doyen of European improvisers, Peter Brotzmann; I hear no real evidence of that in this recording. He has his own distinctive style and, although he will at times play overtones on the alto saxophone, he mostly develops long lines without distorting his tone. His solos are fierce, but have an underlying logical and melodic pattern.
Olie Brice and Mark Sanders contribute very strongly to the intensity of the performance; each makes his own contribution and the performance is definitely one of three equals rather than a saxophonist playing with a rhythm section. The gigs in London and Birmingham will be gigs of high quality in which the trio plays without gaps and provides the listeners with the intense experience that the very best free jazz can provide.
Trzaska is also a composer of film music, and something of a super star in Poland having written the music for films such as Wolyn, The Mighty Angel and Hatred. By placing the gig in the Polish Club in Birmingham we are hoping to attract some of the Polish community in the city.
Café Oto, 18-22 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL
Polish Millennium House (Polish Club) Bordesley Street, Birmingham B5 5PH For advance tickets go to Eventbrite and click here