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WIERBA & SCHMIDT QUINTET – Getxo Jazz 2010

December 2010
CD
10
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The Getxo International Jazz Festival has always given a high priority to the band competition, as it is considered to be the festival’s hallmark and plays a major part in its success. Year after year this competition has given rise to big hits, and last year we got a lovely surprise when we listened to Wierba & Schmidt, the quintet from Poland who were unanimously acclaimed by the judges and the audience alike. The band’s creativity in the album, which had filled us with wonder during the selection process, confirmed that the judges were not wrong at all. The band’s members are young musicians who have studied at the Academy of Music in Katowice. Wierba & Schmidt’s leaders are best soloist winner Piotr Schmidt (trumpet) and Michal Wierba (piano), composer of the three songs in the CD. Wierba is a great composer with a gift for tunes and a rich music culture, which results in big hits. All five play wonderfully in Duke Pearson’s “Empathy,” Kenny Dorham’s “Lotus Blossom,” and Billy Harper’s “Croquet Ballet,” a masterpiece Schmidt especially likes and subtly transforms in his own unmistakable style. Wierba’s songs, like the superb “White Darkness,” go in the same vein. Powerful yet way far from simple. The two leaders develop rhythms that highlight the soloists’ parts. Marcin Kaletka (saxophone) plays some great solos and backs the leaders’ discourse up. When listening to the CD, you feel all the power the knowledgeable Getxo audience felt and realise the band from Poland only came to the festival to win. These great musicians let us know that there are many walls waiting to be knocked down in Europe. Long live this band with a bright, promising future.

FERNANDO IZA

 



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