RGG's lunar journeys
Steering clear of cliché topics and easy solutions, they offer smart and sophisticated music as they seek to genuinely connect with their audiences.
Without a doubt, Mysterious Monuments On The Moon is one of last year's best new album releases to come out in Poland. Although not quite easy listening, the music stops short of being perturbing. And yet, the artists demand that the audience focus and listen carefully, neither of which can be taken for granted these days. In return, they offer a unique aesthetic and a spiritual musical experience. The album appears to be inspired by both a fascination with moon exploration and the work of Stanisław Lem.
Members of the RGG trio, Łukasz Ojdana on piano, Maciej Garbowski on double bass and Krzysztof Gradziuk on drums, will promote this outstanding album, which is also a very successful overview of the trio's musical pursuits in the last two decades. The band is named for its founders' initials. Next to Garbowski and Gradziuk, it was started by Przemysław Raminiak, who was replaced by Łukasz Ojdana a decade ago. They debuted with an album whose title, Scandinavia, is believed by some to be significant. They have treaded their own path for years. Some of their work, such as their album Unfinished Story, is reminiscent of Mieczysław Kosz, who was then (and who perhaps remains to this day) a somewhat forgotten artist. On other occasions, as in the case of True Story: In Two Acts, they indulge in a free-spirited improvisation that is nevertheless highly disciplined. A yet another RGG album is inspired by the work of Karol Szymanowski. Their music has been embraced by respected international labels (Aura was released by Okeh Records) and prestigious Polish Jazz series (such as the superb Memento). They have always been open and bold about their music and invariably displayed keen awareness and a unique vision. Therefore, their latest album was again released by an independent label.
Besides the trio's arguably main preoccupation with producing their own albums, they have engaged in a number of side projects. The key among those are recordings that bring all three together under the band's name. The RGG's joint productions with luminaries of contemporary improvised music include Live@Alchemia with Evan Parker, Rafa with Trevor Watts, and City of Gardens with Verneri Pohjola and Samuel Blaser. The trio is also featured on Anna Gadt's Breathing. Sadly, time ran out on their attempt to produce a phonographic review of the two years they shared in concert with the late Tomasz Stańko.
No less interesting (and actually countless) are the trio's other activities. These certainly include the fantastic solo album Kurpian Songs & Meditations by Łukasz Ojdana. Gradziuk and Garbowski have co-produced amazing albums with Piotr Schmidt, Pauli Lyytinen and, appearing as The Owl trio, with the violinist Marcin Hałat. These are just a few of their many pursuits. Don't miss your chance to see this truly incredible band!
translation: Krzysztof Kotkowski
JazZamek #37: Concert by RGG
Zamek (Castle) Cultural Centre, Grand Hall, 16 January, 7pm
Tickets: PLN 40
© Wydawnictwo Miejskie Posnania 2022