Monday, September 28, 2015

JOHN WOJCIECHOWSKI'S 'FOCUS' IS A FRIGGING GOOD POST-BOP JAZZ ALBUM

The jazz saxophonist John Wojciechowski is a native of Mount Clemens, MI, and a graduate of Western Michigan University. His dad was a sheet metal worker who moonlighted as a jazz organist, and who made sure music was a big part of his son’s existence. After college Wojciechowski played briefly in New York, returned to Michigan, and when the worked there slowed to a crawl around 2002, he moved to Chicago and became a valuable player and jazz educator there. Lexicon was his debut as a leader, showing Wojciechowski had a blue-collar swing ethic. Focus is his second album released September 18th on Origin Records. The ten cut album is a frigging good post-bop jazz album with much attitude, and exquisite playing by Wojciechowski's rhythm section pianist Ryan Cohan, bassist Dennis Carroll and drummer Dana Hall. Ternary, Twirl, and particularly the quartet’s working of Thelonious Monk’s classic Evidence will leave listener’s mouths hanging wide open. Wojciechowski has run the streets with Cohan, Carroll, and Hall since setting up shop in Chicago. As Focus shows, the musicians are in lockstep with each other’s musical psyches. As for Wojciechowski,  stylistically, it sounds as if saxophonists Sonny Rollins's and Joe Henderson's blood flow through Wojciechowski’s saxophones. By trade, he’s a post-bop craftsman check out In Your Own Sweet Way. He also possesses a gentle streak, On cuts such as Divided Man and The Listener, he redefines what’s regarded as smooth jazz
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