The sax virtuoso Martin Küchen (b. 1966) played drums in his youth, and then, at the instigation of his parents, he was forced to “choose” the flute. Attempts at controlling the rebellious young musician, however, thankfully brought the opposite effect. At 13, Küchen started singing in a rock band, and later became interested in playing the saxophone. It is said that the Swedish saxophonist is one of the most talented improvising musicians, and also a composer of music for film and theater. We know him from from Angles 9, Trespass Trio, Fracture Mechanics and KTHKTT-ensemble.
At Krakow Jazz Autumn, Martin Küchen has performed solo (2012), as well as with the fiery Angles 8 (2015), and with All Included in 2012. This is bold, rapacious jazz, armed with a punk-like energy. The last release of this mischievous Scandinavian quintet is Satan In Plain Clothes (2015, Clean Feed). Stefan Wood wrote flattering words about the album on the blog The Free Jazz Collective: “(…) a fine album; an amalgamation of styles and influences that is rich in originality and creativity”.
Küchen is the undisputed leader of this formation, but its strength lies in the shared vision of musicians and their experience in collaborating on other projects. Norwegian trumpeter Thomas Johansson, double bassist Jon Rune Strøm and drummer Tollef Østvang play together in Friends & Neighbors. Their debut, No Beat Policy (published by Øra Fonogram in 2011), shared All Included’s aesthetics of spontaneous, politically involved American free jazz straight from the 1960s, but also has something unmistakably modern and unconventional. Trombonist Mats Äleklint collaborated with Küchen in Angles and Angles 8 on 2008’s Every Woman is a Tree (2008) and By Way of Deception (2012), both released by Clean Feed.
Martin Küchen (SE) – saxophones
Thomas Johansson (NO) – trumpet
Mats Äleklint (SE) – trombone
Jon Rune Strøm (NO) – double bass
Tollef Østvang (NO) – drums
On October 20, Alchemia will host some really high-profile musicians – a remarkable trio led by an undisputed legend of international free jazz – the saxophonist, experimenter and improviser, Joe McPhee. Nearly eighty years old, the musician has been creating now for over half a century, recorded several dozen albums and collaborated with the biggest names in improvised music. The Krakow audience certainly still recall his previous performances – like the one with the Nu Ensemble, which reworked the music of Frank Zappa, or a joint performance with Mikołaj Trzaska and Jay Rosen, immortalized on the album Intimate Conversations.
This time, he will be accompanied by more extraordinary avant-gardists: Klaus Kugel, a German drummer, known for his work with Ken Vandermark, and John Edwards – a British bassist who’s performed with, among others, Peter Brötzmann and Charles Gayle.
The trio so far have one album. Journey to Parazzar was recorded during last year’s performance in the Ukrainian city of Zaporizhia, and was released by Krakow’s own NotTwo Records. The album is filled with four captivating compositions, including two spontaneous improvisations, originating and ending in uncompromising, energetic free jazz, sporadically overlaid with minimalist spots giving a moment’s respite, additionally emphasizing the artistry of the musicians. The album certainly confirmed the trio’s the strong position on the world free jazz scene. And this is the kind of music we can expect an October evening in Alchemia.
Joe McPhee (USA) – saxophone, trumpet
John Edwards (GB) – double bass
Klaus Kugel (Germany) – drums
Date : 20.10.2018
Venue : : Alchemia, ul. Estery 5
Time : 8 pm
TICKETS : 40 PLN in presale, 50 PLN on the day of the show