Polish pianist Marcin Masecki is a multi-versed musician, equally accomplished in classical, jazz and pop music, who likes to take worn out musical frameworks and routines off their hinges with an arch smile on his face (Scarlatti, Beethoven, Bach). His latest destination, Ragtime, which he tackles together with the young Polish drummer Jerzy Rogiewicz, is owed to the African-American pianist James P. Johnson (1894–1955), who caused an irresistible urge to become a pianist in a very young Masecki. With his stride piano style, James P. Johnson built a bridge between ragtime and jazz. It is precisely Masecki’s dry-sounding and almost microscopically sober reconstruction of ‘ragtime’ that renders the music’s inner swing tangible. It sometimes reminds us of Bach, ignites the fires of joy and lays down a connection with the music of the glamorous Russian-Polish composer Faina Markowna Kwiatkowska (1914–1991) and other Polish musicians of that time who had caught the rag-bug. Masecki’s slightly stumbling, percussive mode of playing brings to mind the cembalo versions of Scott Joplin’s works arranged by French-Polish cembalist Elisabeth Chojnacka (1939–2017) and gets our dancing feet moving.
Marcin Masecki piano
Jerzy Rogiewicz drums