Andy Middleton’s Freedom Quartet feat. Piotr Wojtasik (USA/A/PL)
Andy Middleton: tenor, soprano saxophone
Piotr Wojtasik: trumpet
Garrett Baxter: bass
Alan Jones: drums
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The Freedom Quartet is a new band reflecting Middleton’s vision of creating music on the highest levels with a group of masters of improvisation. Middleton’s love for the freedom of line, rhythm, sound, possibility and spontaneous creation finds expression with this exceptional band of European and American players that opens a new chapter in his career.
Andy Middleton is one of the top-tier saxophonists and jazz composers living in Europe today. “One of the strongest tenor and soprano saxophonists on the scene,” says Randy Brecker, Andy is a skilled improviser and composer whose breadth of expression ranges from fierce power to tender warmth, from lyrical beauty to rhythmic drive, which sounds contemporary and fresh while retaining a real sense of the saxophone lineage. His compositions, harmonically modern and melodic yet clearly rooted in the jazz tradition, provide the perfect setting. Middleton’s unique voice as a player, arranger and composer has led jazz icons such as Ralph Towner, Kenny Wheeler and David Holland to collaborate with him. He has also performed and recorded with a long list of artists including Billy Hart, Maria Schneider, Richie Beirach, Renee Rosnes, Randy Brecker, Bob Mintzer, Ron McClure, Bill Evans, Lionel Hampton, Joey Calderazzo, John Abercrombie, Steve Rodby, Scott Colley and Adam Nussbaum. Middleton has received numerous prizes and awards, among them First Prize, Best Soloist, Best Arranger at the 13th Europ’ Jazz Contest, Belgium (1991) as well as Outstanding Jazz Soloist in Down Beat Magazine (1987). “… solos that demonstrate the absolute mastery of his saxophones, in emotional and technical terms. Every note hits the mark, but also reveals the notable feature of leadership, that nothing is done halfway.” All About Jazz Italy
Piotr Wojtasik is a trumpet virtuoso, a great improviser and composer who has been speaking his own unique musical language for over 30 years. He has recorded and performed in most European countries, in Morocco, Israel, Canada, the United States, Japan and India as well. In the 1980s and 1990s he represented the trend of modern bop but now has adopted a more individual form, based in part on modal jazz with elements of free and ethnic music. He has performed with some of the giants of jazz, including Kenny Garrett, Joe Lovano, Billy Harper, Victor Lewis, George Cables, Kirk Lightsey, Joe LaBarbera and Archie Shepp. Wojtasik has taken part in the recording of over a dozen albums. He has recorded 11 original albums which have gained high recognition among critics and music lovers. The albums "Circle" and "Hope" received the prestigious award of the Polish music industry - Fryderyk, and most of his albums have been nominated to it. Wojtasik himself received two Fryderyk Awards in 2008 in the Jazz Musician of the Year category and as the author of the Best Jazz Album of the Year, for the "Circle" album. He won the Jazz Forum magazine many times in the Jazz Top ranking. The latest album, "To Whom it May Concern”, shows Wojtasik's sensitivity in both the performance and composition as well as in the carefully selected cast of musicians.
Bassist Garrett Baxter is one of the most exciting musicians in Portland, Oregon’s jazz scene. In addition to performing as a bandleader, he also performs regularly in bands led by Portland veterans Alan Jones and George Colligan. Garrett also has had the privilege of performing with artists such as Jon Irabagon, Jaleel Shaw, and Javon Jackson, Linda May Han Oh, Ben Wendel, Walter Smith III, Kendrick Scott, Terrell Stafford, Josh Nelson, and many more.
Master drummer Alan Jones has performed extensively throughout Europe and North America with Charlie Mariano, David Liebman, Jim Pepper, Bennie Wallace, Don Thompson, Glen Moore, Kenny Wheeler, Mose Allison, and David Friesen among others. He has recorded with Dave Holland, Ralph Towner, Jim Pepper, David Friesen, Renee Rosnes, Wayne Darling, Airto Moriera, and The Alan Jones Sextet (produced by Gino Vannelli). Mr. Jones studied jazz at the Berklee School of Music as well as the Banff Centre for Fine Arts, and currently resides in Portland, Oregon. Alan composes soundtracks for film, dance and theater as well as writing for his own Jazz ensemble “The Alan Jones Sextet”. He is very much in demand as a clinician and private instructor while continuing an active world-wide recording and touring schedule.
" Jones' drumming swings incessantly and is almost dizzying in it's variety" -Dan Deprez, Willamette Week
In Zusammenarbeit mit Polnisches Institut Wien