JERZY MAŁEK

Jerzy Małek

About the artist

Jerzy Małek has enjoyed the critical acclaim of Polish jazz aficionados for over twenty years and has been awarded with numerous honors, including the 2012 Fryderyk prize nomination for best musician and composer.

As a long-standing member of multiple ensembles, Jerzy has grown to become a recognized figure in the jazz community thanks to collaborating with Polish heavyweights, such as Zbigniew Wegehaupt, Michał Urbaniak, Zbigniew Namysłowski, and Wojtek Karolak, as well as American jazz luminaries like Gary Bartz, Maria Schneider, Adam Nussbaum or Andy Middleton. Having spent years being a sideman, Jerzy had unique opportunities to hone his artistic skills and go through invaluable experiences as a musician and a performer. With each of  his subsequent records, not only did the artist develop as a trumpet player, but also significantly expanded the context for his musical ambitions. Jerzy’s first records, “By Five” (2000), “Gift” (2002), and “Spirit of the time” (2004) were heavily influenced by blues and modern jazz. “Bop Time” (2005) marked a neo-funk episode in the artist’s career, and “Air” (2010) saw him embark into the melodic territories of “European” jazz.

His two latest records, “Stalgia” (2014) i “Forevelle” (2017), released by a prestigious Polish label Kayax, suggestively defined the stylistic context of Jerzy Małek’s music by bringing the themes of his earlier works together to create a unified and consistent motif underlying his art. Although each of the records constitutes a separate story of its own, there is a common denominator shared by all of the music recorded by the artist. The autor himself has jokingly described it as being reminiscent of the narrative devices employed by Charles Bukowski.

The “Black Sheep” project is a new chapter in Jerzy’s musical career that draws the familiar elements of his works together while simultaneously surprising the audiences with novel ideas. ”Black Sheep” embraces innovative rhythms inspired by the latest trends in modern music. Influences ranging from alternative to pop are used as a springboard for its own. Its impressionistically harmonized themes, sonoristic sounds resulting from bizarrely joined modal scales, and a rich melodic texture provoke explosive interactions and unrestrained improvisations.

Jerzy Małek’s latest project stands out as a unique event on the Polish market. It does not attempt to give in to the passing musical fads of this part of the globe. Instead, due to its artistic and stylistic merits, the project aspires to transcend local limitations and make its mark in Europe and in the US. “Black Sheep” endeavors to offer a universal, holistic approach the idea of individuality within the context of 21st century art and the artist’s works.

 

Jerzy Małek’s latest album was recorded with the participation of upper-chelon of the Polish jazz scene, including Radek Nowicki (saxophone), Aga Derlak (piano), Max Mucha (bass), and Sebastian Frankiewicz.

 

Jerzy’s band performs with the recording lineup, as a quarter without the piano, and a trio featuring Sławomir Kurkiewicz playing the bass.