Wojtek Mazolewski Interview in Prestiż Magazine

Wojciech Mazolewski, Sound Seeker
by Magdalena Majchrzak



- You are a very active, very prolific artist.  The list of your groups, the compositions in which the Mazolewski name appears, seems to have no end.  You have a radio program, you compose music for films, theater and audio books, and you engage in many musical projects, like your latest album “Shaman”, in cooperation with Dennis Gonzalez.  Watching you in concert, I noticed – in what you do and how you do it – I came to the conclusion that you have creative ADD.  I cannot help but get the impression that the more of these projects you take on, the more screwed you are.

 - Such is my temperament.  I express myself through playing.  It's my natural activity.  I love to try playing concerts, recording in the studio – think of it as a profession, my life's journey.  Playing music gives me a lot of energy.

- You work with many important musicians.  When you are among them, do you somehow work out a higher level of musical understanding?

- I can say that with most of these musicians, I develop a very strong relationship at the level of work and life.  Each of these relationships has taught me something.  I always try to give a lot in my relationships with them, to learn new things from my partners and to show them new horizons.  It seems to me that I have been lucky so far with the musicians with whom I have come to play, because most of them are wonderful people and outstanding instrumentalists.

- And how did your meeting with Dennis Gonzalez come about? Is he really is a shaman?

- Yes, Dennis Gonzalez is a real shaman.  He is also a writer, a painter, and a teacher, but above all he’s a wonderful man.  And that for me is very important - he is also a very great musician, a trumpeter.  We have a very fine, even personal, relationship.  It’s very nice to talk to him, and I always learn a lot from him.  We met several years ago through the Internet.  I sent him an e-mail and it that contact established our cooperation.  I always felt that I would like to work with people of a different sensibilities, people from different cultures, with different life experiences in order to broaden my musical horizons, to experience something new.  Along with Marek Pospieszalski and Jurek Rogiewicz, we all decided to bump our Slavic soul and Polish jazz traditions with Gonzalez’s Mexican music temperament.  Dennis lives in the United States, and has traveled the world and worked with the best.  He’s collaborated with, among others.  Oliver Lake, Reggie Workman, and Henry Grimes.  I learn from him the skills of doing things, most importantly by using our primary energy that is clean, which emanates directly from ourselves.

- The “Shaman” album is probably your bravest project.  In concert you all took two pieces by Krzysztof Komeda - "Astigmatic" and "Pushing the Car" and interpreted them in your own way, in more modern versions.  It takes courage to take on such a great composer's works.  Did you ever wonder what Krzysztof Komeda would say, how he would react if he heard your versions of his songs?

- I would love for Komeda to still be alive, and I wish I could meet him and listen to his arguments about music in general, and perhaps I'd be thrilled, even if it were to be a devastating critique.  Selecting the songs, I tried to not show off, as I wanted to express my respect for the Polish tradition of playing jazz, which in its early days had a lot of inner strength and truth.  We also played two compositions by Dennis and two of mine.  And interestingly, it seems to me that all of these songs on this record sound like this style of old-school Polish jazz.  I could feel it in Dennis’s music and therefore invited him to come and play.  I am trying to show a relationship with this tradition, and I hope that it is succeeding for us.

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