Based in Krakow, Poland, saxophonist Adam Pieronczyk crafted, in 2010, perhaps the finest recorded tribute to his countryman, Krzysztof Komeda, with Komeda: The Innocent Sorcerer (Jazzwerkstatt). Komeda was a seminal Polish jazz man who shifted his focus to soundtrack work, most famously with film maker Roman Polanski, and most notably on the 1968 psycho-horror movie, Rosemary's Baby. Pieronczyk took on the tribute task with a two-saxophone-out-front, bass/drums/guitar rhythm section that captured Komeda's spirit to perfection.
So how do you follow perfection? For Pieroncyzk, it's with a fine double CD with a chordless quartet, a deeply spiritual and deeply beautiful solo soprano sax set, The Planet of Eternal Life (Jazzwerkstatt, 2013), a fine double CD featuring a chord-less quartet, A-Train Nights (Fortune Productions, 2014), and now a duo outing with iconic bassist Miroslav Vitous, Wings.
Vitous' reputation is built on a foundation of five albums he recorded as a member of Weather Report in the early seventies, and several outstanding leader outings on ECM Records. His sound is big and forthright. It sings, it dances, and he and Pieroncyzk (on soprano and tenor horns here) weave their lines, bounce off of each other in sometimes querulous, sometimes affable conversations.
"Enzo and the Blue Mermaid" opens the disc on a simple, Ornette Coleman-like melodic riff from the saxophone, before the bass bounces in with its own melodic sense and spirit. Call and response born of deep and intimate listening is the mode as the players craft a spontaneous tune with a deft use of space.
Vitous sounds like a small orchestra as he soars on the bow, and Pieroncyzk follows him into the sky on "Bach at Night." "I'm Flying! I'm Flying" features Pieroncyzk's bird-like tone on soprano as his melody flits and flutters around Vitous' throbbing bass lines, and "Full Moon Sky" opens with a bass so reverberant it sounds as if its being played in a cathedral, with Pieroncyzk's prayerful saxophone echoing into the overlapping lower end washes of sound.
Adam Pieroncyzk and Miroslav Vitous create (seemingly) effortless beauty on Wings. (www.allaboutjazz.com)
In cooperation with the Polish Institut Vienna