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ANNA GADT / MARCIN OLAK ~ GOMBROWICZ
HEVHETIA 0196 (Barcode: 8588005258746) ~ POLAND ~ Jazz & Poetry

Recorded: 2019 Released: 2020

This is a wonderful debut album by the Polish Avant-Garde Jazz duo comprising of vocalist Anna GadtFind albums by this artist and guitarist Marcin OlakFind albums by this artist, which offers their interpretations of the writings by Polish author Witold GombrowiczFind albums by this artist, one of the most idiosyncratic and controversial literary figures in Polish Cultural heritage. Although based on prose fragments, this album firmly belongs to the Jazz & Poetry idiom, both conceptually and aesthetically. The album presents twelve tracks of improvised voice / guitar pieces, which include recitation, singing and vocalese, each of them based on a different fragment taken from texts by Gombrowicz

Listeners familiar with the Polish Avant-Garde / Improvised Music scene are probably familiar with Marcin Olak´s recordings on the FSRFind albums on this label label, which are all worth checking out. Gadt is of course one of the brightest stars on the Polish Jazz vocal scene, with a substantial recording legacy, but most importantly characterized by her chameleonic quality of constant transformation of her vocal style, which over the years developed from mainstream to highly personal Improvising Music environment, which is still evolving. She is also a respected and devoted teacher of the vocal Art and her students are beginning to shape the next generation of the Polish Jazz vocal scene.

During my recent visit in Warsaw I had the opportunity to attend the debut performance of this music in a small club, which offered an intimate opportunity to celebrate the release of this album. I watched the audience to see how effectively this highly demanding music will be able to penetrate the walls of indifference and cerebral demand this music requires, but to my surprise the audience was absolutely mesmerized by what was happening on the small stage. Obviously this music is stronger and more communicative than what one might expect, in spite of its farfetched aim towards intellectual brain functionality, acting on the purely emotional, raw instinct level as well, in retrospect somewhat similar to Gombrowicz´s writing.

Connoisseur of the human voice Art will be of course delighted by Gadt´s performances on this album, which include probably many of the things "you always wanted to do with your voice but were afraid to try" list. She is simply fearless and completely uninhibited in the way she uses her voice, which often expands the known boundaries of vocal expression. Although using texts in Polish language, this kind of vocal expression transcends any language barriers completely, making them meaningless. In some cases Gadt´s vocal construction are so distinctive, that she seems to construct a completely new vocal "language" of her own design.

It is pretty rare when an album labeled as Avant-Garde is truly Avant-Gardist in its nature, since the label is used way too lightly these days. Anything that is unusual / unconventional often gets labeled as Avant-Garde, whereas in fact despite being different, it does not offer anything that is done for the first time and is a pillar of fire showing the way to whoever is following. This album, however, is genuinely Avant-Gardist in every bit of its existence and its ingredients as much as a whole – a rare and beautiful thing indeed – and an absolute treasure! Thank you Anna and Marcin!
Updated: 22/02/2020Posted: 22/02/2020CD 1 Digipak Recommend To A Friend

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