It’s special enough when a piece of music becomes a favorite the first time one hears it. But when that piece of music possesses the life and immediacy of an improvised live performance, which just happened to be captured on a recording, and it is part of a challenging, previously inaccessible genre—then we are talking about an experience so rare and special that it even warrants a blog post.
And a world premiere.
Recorded live on March 10, 2015, at Warsaw’s Eufemia, Eleven Minutes In features Patryk Zakrocki on viola along with the duo Skerebotte Fatta, consisting of Jan Małkowski on tenor sax and Dominik “Dodos” Mokrzewski on drums. It is a fragment of the first of two sets performed by the trio on an evening belonging to neither winter nor spring, and it was edited by Małkowski to the specifications of the author of this post. The title, of course, derives from the timing, as does the artwork, below, which shows the sun setting over Warsaw rooftops on the very same day. Both are my contributions, humble and proud.
If you know me, you’ll know I’d love to tell you why this piece is so perfect. But if you know me well, you’ll also know that my experience with discourse on music is still in its infancy. Jazz is a puzzle I’m barely learning to solve. Thus, I present you with a masterpiece I can’t explain: four minutes and fourteen seconds of a whole that is more than the sum of its parts. Playful yet contemplative, soothing yet elecrifying, with Mokrzewski’s dazzling rhythm and Małkowski’s shapely melodies aligning beautifully with Zakrocki’s irresistible determination. All the sophistication of avant-garde jazz with none of its limits on accessibility. Complex, fascinating music, unburdened by the difficulty that scares away those more accustomed to songs measured in units of chorus and verse. To me, anyway—a softly tapped, wistfully played, remarkably intricate invitation.
Eleven Minutes In is shared with permission from Małkowski, Mokrzewski, and Zakrocki—and published here for the first time ever.