PIEC. Played by Wojtek Groborz
Wojtek Groborz plays at the Piec d'Art jazz club fairly often; and what's more, the style of music he plays has its origins in the 1940's. One could assume, then, that the pianist's successive appearances at the Piec ( - “piec” means “oven” in Polish) would begin to bore the public, and attract less and less interest as time goes on. But it's the other way around - the more often Wojtek plays at the Piec, the more people seem to come down to listen to his concerts. Last Wednesday, for example, the room was quite crowded indeed, the atmosphere – as Leopold Tyrmand may have described it in years past – “frenetic”. The reason this is happening is that the music presented by the Krakovian pianist, as well as his personality, have a way of drawing people in – they make one want to listen.
Bebop, the style that Groborz has been passionately immersed in for close to 20 years now, is a classic jazz style that has an era-transcending energy to it. The music of Charlie Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Thelonious Monk and many others from the pantheon of original bebop masters - as well as new compositions maintained in that convention, which Wojtek has a very able hand, or rather head, for writing – remains fresh and vital.
The artists are all top-notch instrumentalists, who also project authenticity, thanks to which it becomes obvious to the audience that this isn't a group that has merely “shown up to get their job done”; these guys are truly enjoying themselves in the process of creating their own sound, glad of the occasion to do some playing together, and to share their art with those who want to listen. No small part is played in this by Wojtek's ability to create a pleasant, congenial atmosphere through his rapport with band and audience members alike, often addressing the latter in a humorous tone, while also familiarizing them a bit more with the repertoire. In times when a sizeable portion of the jazz artists appearing in clubs here don't even bother to announce the titles of the tunes they're playing, Groborz's talents as an M.C. are truly something to be admired.
Wojtek Groborz Trio
"Yet Another Bebop Day" - reviewed by Grzegorz Tusiewicz
Wojtek Groborz's fondness for the bebop classics reminds one of a highly exacting philatelist, in the sense that other than possessing an in-depth knowledge and close affinity with the spirit of that era, as well as the ability to present its artistic legacy competently and eloquently, he also proceeds with great care, making sure not to “crease or damage a single corner or perforation” of some rare stamp. This meticulousness is evident in his rendering of the Latin elements so essential to the sound of that era as well. Wojtek, whether he be working in a trio or quintet context, is arguably Poland's premiere exponent of bebop. Copying, however - as do a number of groups that specialize in the faithful replication of transcribed recordings from half a century ago - is not what he's doing; an individual, creative interpretation within the bounds of a given stylistic canon would be a more appropriate description.
The main emphasis of Wojtek's day-to-day musical activity is on live performances with his trio, which provide audiences with an excellent opportunity to become familiar with the roots of modern jazz, and this CD represents a documentation of that work. The only thing it lacks, being a studio album, is the atmosphere-generating 'bebop commentary' that Wojtek provides during his concerts.
Wojtek Groborz Trio
"Yet Another Bebop Day" - reviewed by Roman Kowal [+]
Bebop Lives! - one has the urge to shout. On this CD we find compositions from the 40's and 50's, rendered in a trio format, with appropriate regard for that golden era, along with two original compositions by the leader – the title "Yet Another Bebop Day" and an angular, Monk-ish tune called "Decoy's Line". The remainder is a well-rounded set of classic tunes that aficionados of that era (including this writer) are always glad to hear. The album maintains a uniformity of style (which isn't as easy a thing to achieve as it would seem), without any superfluous experiments or transfiguration of the material - just a healthy dose of hard-swinging jazz, in the best sense of the word.
Róże (Roses) Jazz Festival - Wojtek Groborz Trio
On Friday (July 20th), the 4 Roses Summer Arts Stage hosted the Wojtek Groborz Trio.
The concert by the Krakow group was part of the 6th edition of the Róże Jazz Festival and, as with previous editions, illustrated the high artistic standard of this event [...]
Bebop [...] it was with these rhythmic sounds that the Krakow trio comprised of pianist Wojtek Groborz, bassist Dominik Wywrocki and drummer Wiesław Jamioł stirred the audience from their seats, while keeping them mesmerized throughout the entire concert. [...]
This was all thanks to the undeniable talents of the musicians, who revitalized a style from long ago with great energy, recreating the unique atmosphere of 1940's New York here, at our Town Hall promenade...