Tykocin Jazz Suite

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Nostalgic Journey – Tykocin Jazz Suite – an incredible, heartwarming recording composed for Randy Brecker’s “homecoming,” celebrated with this suite composed by renowned Polish jazz pianist and film composer Wlodek Pawlik.

This disc tells an amazing story that began in 1994 when Randy Brecker met Wlodek Pawlik in Germany, when the award-winning Polish pianist played with the Western Jazz Quartet. This meeting would come into sharp focus 11 years later, when Randy’s brother Michael was diagnosed with leukemia and his family immediately started searching for a bone marrow donor.

Making contact with Pawlik, the family traced Brecker’s relatives to an area in Poland called Tykocin*. In honor of this discovery, Pawlik wrote an orchestral/jazz suite about Randy’s “homecoming,” and although a donor was not found, the Breckers discovered their Jewish roots (his Family’ name was Tykocky). The recording has already won several “Best of 2008” awards in Poland, and Brecker’s story was recently featured in Poland’s Newsweek.

Randy Brecker has been shaping the sound of jazz, R&B, and rock for more than four decades. His trumpet and flugelhorn performances have graced hundreds of albums by a wide range of artists.

Wlodek Pawlik has released 16 albums as a leader, and won numerous domestic and international music contests. He was honored as Jazz Musician of the Year by Warsaw’s legendary Jazz Club Akwarium.

Randy Brecker in Tykocin, Poland

The Journey begins with a three part introduction, with the unaccompanied Pawlik painting delicate teardrops on “Movement 1.” He is joined by a subtle backdrop of strings on the inward “Movement 2,” leading into an enlivened, driving symphonic sound on “Movement 3.

Brecker and Pawlik’s trio mates, bassist Pawel Panita and drummer Cezary Konrad, make their appearance on the title cut, a beautiful tune that showcases Brecker’s striking tone and deft navigation of the composition, as well as Pawlik’s intricate pianism and tight trio interplay.

The upbeat “Let’s All go to Heaven” possesses the jazziest mood of the set, with the trio and Brecker sounding especially inspired and in the groove. “No Words,” preceded by another gorgeous piano intro, is a soft ballad, the sort that Chet Baker was so good at delivering. Brecker does his own tangy, heartfelt delivery, backed by just the right subtle touch of string accompaniment, with a searching piano solo slipped in the middle. “Magic Seven” marries classical grandeur with jazz guts and fire, and “Blue Rain” gets into a jazz grooves on the upbeat closing to this musical journey.

via AllAboutJazz

In my deep conviction Nostalgic Journey: Tykocin Jazz Suite is one of the stops in the human’s pilgrimage – the place of relaxation… and reflection of ourselves and the world” – Włodek Pawlik

Crisp, clean trumpet sound and decidedly melodic approach … a beacon for contemporary jazz.”  – Los Angeles Times

Brecker’s sonic swirls, while sweeping up a babbling cross-section of current argots and accents, sparkle with savvy sophistication and ebullient joie de vivre.”  –  JazzTimes

Buy CD (listen to a sample) – iTunes / Amazon

*Tykocin (Tykotzin; Heb. Tiktin, Tuktin, Tyktin, טיקטין) is an old, smaller size town in north-eastern Poland. The Jewish population of Tykocin was eradicated by Nazi Germans during the Holocaust. The estimated 3400 Jewish residents of Tykocin were marched or trucked into a nearby forest (Lopochova) and executed in waves into pits by SS Einsatzkommando Zichenau-Schroettersburg under SS-Obersturmführer Hermann Schaper. A memorial now exists outside the city.

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