UP! is an unprecedented piece of work in the history of Polish jazz – Marek Napiórkowski's dreams came true, realized on a huge scale, an effect of his search for artistic and life's truths, declaration of a grown up man who doesn't wish to look back.
The album has been well acclaimed by critics, audience, as well as the music industry, the effect of which was a nomination for the prestigious FRYDERYK Prize in Jazz Album Of The Year category.
Marek Napiórkowski's compositions on UP! were performed by some extraordinary jazz players: Krzysztof Herdzin (grand piano), an American drummer Clarence Penn (drums and percussion), Robert Kubiszyn (bass and double bass), Adam Pierończyk (soprano and tenor saxophones) and Henryk Miśkiewicz (bass clarinet). Also, the classical musicians took part in the two-day recording session. They formed a nonet: flute, oboe, two clarinets, bass clarinet, trombone, bassoon, French horn and cello.
Thanks to Krzysztof Herdzin's arrangements, several musical worlds have been reflected in Marek Napiórkowski's compositions: improvised, dynamic jazz meets modern chamber music, cinematic or theatrical illustrations go along with ethereal ballads.
The musicians invited to take part in the project are Marek Napiórkowski's long-time musical partners and friends, connected on stage by an almost telepathic relationship. The only new character is Clarence Penn, the drummer.
"His presence and working on this album is like my dream came true," says the guitarist. "The drums are the heart of the band and if the drummer is top of the tops in the jazz world, nothing can go wrong. From the very first sound Clarence played, I knew it was the key decision."
There are a few surprises, too: Henryk Miśkiewicz, an outstanding alto saxophone player, performs almost free jazz parts on a bass clarinet. Adam Pierończyk, one of the most unpredictable improvisers in Europe, shows his less known, more lyrical part.
"This music is an effect of all my experiences and thoughts, a history of a man who's not really a youngster anymore, but who doesn't want to look back," says Napiórkowski. "All previous albums were reasons for pride and excitement, but UP! is really special for me. It's a sum of experiences, reaching the higher level, and the first step to... reaching even higher."
1. Szkice piórkiem 2. Teatr 3. Here Comes the Moon 4. Miele e senape 5. Mill 6. Penn Drive 7. Lunar Calendar 8. Cafe Batavia 9. Montalcino Blues*
* only in FLAC Hi Res version
music & production: Marek Napiórkowski arrangements and conducting: Krzysztof Herdzin co-production: Robert Kubiszyn production for V-Records: Adam Domagała recording and mixing: Rafał Smoleń at Sound and More Studio, Warsaw (recorded live on 4th and 5th December 2012, at 88,2 kHz) mastering: Denis Blackham at Skye Mastering, Isle of Skye (Scotland) editing: Robert Kubiszyn photo: Rafał Masłow stylist: Magda Tokaj cover design: Miłosz Wiercioch
MUSICIANS Jazz Band: Marek Napiórkowski – electric and acoustic guitars Krzysztof Herdzin – grand piano Clarence Penn – drums and percussion Adam Pierończyk – tenor and soprano saxophones Henryk Miśkiewicz – bass clarinet Robert Kubiszyn – double bass
Classical musicians: Anna Włodarska-Szetela – flute Sebastian Aleksandrowicz – oboe Adrian Janda – clarinet Arkadiusz Adamski – clarinet Artur Kasperek – basoon Tomasz Bińkowski – French horn Dariusz Plichta – trombone Tomasz Błaszczak – Cello Henryk Miśkiewicz – bass clarinet