Rafal Sarnecki - ALBUM FROM AUG 2014
Originally from Warsaw, Poland, Rafał Sarnecki is a jazz guitarist and composer currently living in Queens, NY. In the 9 years that Rafal spent living in the Big Apple he has become one of the most sought after jazz composers of his generation. As a leader of his own projects Rafal has toured 11 European countries, China, Israel and the East and West Coast of the US. He has recorded 3 CDs as a leader. The debut album Song From a New Place (2008) was nominated for the Fryderyk 2009 Award, the Polish equivalent of a Grammy. Rafal's second album, The Madman Rambles Again, was released in 2011 by the Fresh Sound New Talent label. Dave Sumner from All About Jazz selected the album as among the 12 most interesting jazz releases of 2011 in the Editor’s Choice section.
Cat's Dream is the third album and features eight new compositions from Sarnecki, arranged for a sextet comprised of some of the best and brightest young musicians on the NYC Scene, Lucas Pino (tenor sax, bass clarinet, flute), Glenn Zaleski (piano), Rick Rosato (bass), Colin Stranahan (drums) and Bogna Kicinska (voice). Cat's Dream also marks Sarnecki's first album recorded with American musicians, and the first time he composed for voice. Sarnecki elaborated; "I wrote the music specifically for these musicians, and during the composition process I imagined every musician in the group performing the music and tried to hear how the parts would sound. We have all known each other for many years so I was able to feature their unique abilities and strengths within this music. I definitely felt very privileged to be able to record with such incredible musicians."
Each composition on Cat's Dream represents a different period in Sarnecki's life, and also a different stage of his development as a composer. On the album you can find extended forms ("For Anastazja" or "Plane Crashes and Conspiracy Theories"), typical short form jazz songs ("Ordovician Extinction", "Piazza Verdi"), as well as the first song with lyrics the composer has ever written (the title track, albeit in Spanish, "Sueño de Gatos"). Sarnecki's music is a result of being influenced by both traditional Polish songs, and American music he was exposed to on radio and in American films. Sarnecki explains further, "many American musicians consider my compositions very European in style, while in Poland and in the rest of Europe, my music is often described as very American. I like my music to have an American rhythmic character, and feel that introducing European melodic elements doesn't necessarily have to make the music groove less."
Sarnecki's music is fascinating in that many musicians perceive his compositions as being complex and challenging to perform (perhaps due to Sarnecki having a degree in Physics). However, the composer actually strives to make his music as user-friendly as possible, only using odd-meters if he is absolutely certain that it is necessary, for example. "Nevertheless the music on Cat's Dream is challenging to perform even for myself. I am really amazed by the ability of my bandmates to improvise with incredible freedom and expression over the complex metric structures of these songs," said Sarnecki.
Rafal Sarnecki - guitar
Lucas Pino - tenor saxophone, bass clarinet, flute
Bogna Kicinska - voice
Glenn Zaleski - piano
Rick Rosato - bass
Colin Stranahan - drums