Polish saxophonist and composer Maciej Obara burst onto the international jazz scene after winning the Bielska Zadymka Jazz Contest in 2006 for Message from Oyaho. His Obara International Quartet is a propulsive new combo formed out of the Take Five Europe program featuring fellow Polish innovator, pianist Dominik Wania, in addition to two of Norway’s most sought after jazz players, Ole Morten Vågan (The Deciders) on bass, and Gard Nilssen (Bushman’s Revenge) playing drums. The group offers a frenetic energy and a bold, harmonically dense sound. A “fascinating blend of thoughtfulness, freedom, passion, superb improvising skills and structural discipline” quotes, Herald Scotland. With material ranging from slow and sentimental to almost aggressively busy, held together in either case by highly reactive and technically capable musicians, the pulsing, narrative free jazz with shades of Ornette Coleman, Lee Konitz, and ECM-style Scandinavian jazz make for a sensational pan-European combo.
Trumpeter and composer, Terence Blanchard, started his career during the 1980s in the Lionel Hampton Orchestra and continued in Art Blakey Jazz Messenger. After 1990, he founded a formation with Donald Harrison, and started his solo career. He is well known for composing music to many films. His 2005 album Flow received two Grammy award nominations and was produced by Herbie Hancock. In 2005, he won the Grammy for Best Instrumental Jazz Album besides McCoy Tyner, Gary Bartz, Christian McBride and Lewis Nash for participating in McCoy's album Illuminations. The New Orleans born and based artist delivers adventurous and provocative acoustic jazz performances of his original material. He has also mentored several musicians in his own band who have gone on to have significant recording careers, including current band members Kendrick Scott, percussion, and Fabian Almazan, piano. With his new quintet, The E-Collective, he has created an exciting zone of grooved fusion teeming with funk, R&B and blues colours.
Herbie Hancock: By Himself, is Blanchard’s reinterpretation of Hancock’s Dolphin Dance, complemented by music drawn from Blanchard’s score for the recent movie The Comedians. Herbie Hancock: By Himself is a joint commission between the EFG London Jazz Festival, the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Jazztopad Festival in Wroclaw.
Alixandra Porembski, English Language Annotator