It may seem a bit self-indulgent writing about an artist I have worked with for 18 months but I simply want to capture my thoughts and feelings as the 19 date UK tour of Maciek Pysz unfolds. I am privileged in having a close up view, this moment may never come again so here are a few very personal thoughts. So here’s the beginning – Day 1 at St John the Evangelist, Oxford.
What struck me most forcefully was how much darker the music of the new album ‘A Journey’ is. If Maciek’s first album ‘Insight’ was all sunlit piazze, the new material is much more nuanced, gently shaded and reflective, but still vibrant with wonderful tunes. Yuri’s bass appeared very muscular – hardly any of his signature romantic arco, and in stark contrast to the gentle touch of Asaf on drums. But it all worked perfectly, Maciek swapping between well-worn Tanglewood and exquisite new Dupont, the many layers of the most distinctive and complex song on the album ‘Undeniable’ manifest by suble overdubbing where complexity sounded so easy and natural, the Trio’s interaction the result of deep sympathy and empathy.
The arrangements from quartet on the album to trio on tour are something I will listen out for as the tour unfolds. I was genuinely taken by surprise by the duo arrangement for guitar and bass of ‘Story of a Story’. And moved to tears by the beautiful ‘Beneath an Evening Sky’ by Ralph Towner (please record this one day Maciek) so the juxtaposition of the jaunty ‘Paris’ immediately following the Towner made me catch my breath, not for the first time that evening. The sound from the Trio was so beautiful – to hear them with only their modest amplifiers to project the sound was a very special event. We were able to hear the sound as if it were a transparent veil over the magical scene in the darkened church. Every sound was delicately resonant and the silent audience was rapt. I always said this was special trio and last night they reinforced that impression. As I drove home in fog over the Cotswolds, I could hear and feel the music cloak me in wonder and gratitude. Oh lucky me!
Maciek’s tour is 4 -28 November 2015 more info