The Młynarski-Masecki Jazz Band
is an ensemble that plays prewar Polish jazz. Contrary to popular opinion, jazz was not introduced to Poland through the illegal broadcasts of Radio Free Europe during the communist era. The earliest Polish jazz tunes had been created in the 1920s, as pre-eminent composers such as Henryk Wars, Jerzy Petersburski or the Gold brothers, Artur and Henryk, spent hours listening to records from America and Berlin, creating hits for film, cabaret, theatre and revue, or composing music commissioned by emerging record companies like Columbia or Syrena Records. Even before 1939, thousands of tunes and recordings had been created, featuring extra ordinary musicians, singers, and actors. The Second World War ended many of those lives, broke up the continuity and shut down the period of prosperity for the blooming Polish show business. But not irrevocably!
Brilliant pianist Marcin Masecki joined up with Jan Emil Młynarski to form an ensemble drawing upon the old tradition of Polish jazz orchestras of the interwar period. JAZZ BAND’s repertoire includes swing tunes, most of which have been largely unknown. There are also a few exceptional tangos that had won their Polish composers fame around the world. Masecki’s and Młynarski’s project revolves around two characters: Adam Aston, prewar Poland’s most distinguished revue singer, and Henryk Wars, the most important Polish pianist, arranger and composer of the prewar era. It’s as if Marcin and Jan were making up for the lost opportunities of an entire generation of Polish revue artists, who, just as their careers had taken off, were forced to flee, fight, die, or leave, making an orphan of the Polish popular music scene. Marcin’s arrangements and Jan’s voice breathe a whole new life into this music, bringing it up to date, making it suitable for contemplation and dance alike.