Many thanks to Marc Myers for his very flattering review of our new CD! The link can be found on www.jazzwax.com by searching for my name; the page contains some images and interactive content. Here is the text:
Between the fall of 1980 and late 1987, guitarist John Klopotowski (above) studied and performed with tenor saxophonist Warne Marsh. A cool-jazz founder in 1949 with pianist Lennie Tristano, alto saxophonist Lee Konitz, guitarist Billy Bauer, bassist Arnold Fishkin and drummer Harold Granowsky, Marsh played high on the instrument's register and had a dry, vibrato-less tone. Like Boy Scout knots, smoke signals and bebop (which preceded cool), the music was a secret language based on Tristano's polymorphic approach to improvisation. To the naked ear, the music sounded like familiar melodies played in reverse.
A passionate student of Marsh and Tristano, Klopotowski has just released San Francisco Concert: Remembering Lennie Tristano (1919-1978). Recorded at Jazz Chez Hanny on February 10 of this year, the album features Klopotowski backed by a magnificent group—alto saxophonist Jacob Zimmerman, bassist John Wiitala and drummer Akira Tana. The album is superb from start to finish, capturing the arid essence and unison playfulness of Tristano's and Marsh's cool-jazz recordings.
Interestingly, while Klopotowski's motive was to celebrate the music of Tristano, he also rekindles interest in guitarist Billy Bauer's role in the original Lennie Tristano Quintet. Klopotowski's guitar playing is exemplary, combining Bauer's brooding swing and Marsh's sailing horn together in one entwined attack. Zimmerman's saxophone against Klopotowski's guitar rekindles the eager grace of both Konitz and Marsh, and he clearly has spent quality time absorbing and adapting Tristano's and Marsh's recordings.
The album's tracks are Klopotowski's Child's Play, Konitz's Subconscious Lee, the standard You Go to My Head, Tristano's 317 East 32nd St., Tristano's Lennie's Pennies, the standard Stardust, Marsh's Fishin' Around, Al Cohn's High on You and Charlie Parker's Billie's Bounce. John David Klopotowski, the guitarist's son, is on drums on the last track. All of the tracks embrace Tristano's controlled, geometric jazz feel.
If you dig cool jazz, this album is pure joy and a must own.