This was a tour de force of acoustic jazz music, and a truly refreshing evening concert. Maciek Pysz played acoustic guitars, with Yuri Goloubev on a beautifully resonant double bass and Asaf Sirkis on drums, including a claypot drum!
The unfortunately small audience and large venue meant that the band perhaps did not have a foil to work with, and initially it felt that the environment was difficult for them. This was the case in the first half of the concert, and the fact that they were playing some enormously complex and demanding pieces, did not allow them scope to really shine and engage despite the undoubted mastery of their craft.
The second half though, opened with what immediately felt like much more confidence and calm; a lyrical solo piece on the guitar was followed by a series of finely crafted ensemble pieces which showed a different, less intense but more involving side of the group. The reduction in tension was evident in their faces and as the consummate playing continued, they became more confident in the audience response, and their accustomed intuition and engagement with each other.
Most of their material consisted of originals from their two albums by Maciek and the band, but they did a heartfelt and expert rendition of Ralph Towner's 'Beneath Evening Sky', which well illustrated the strong influence from that direction.
The audience may have been small, but those that were there showed loud appreciation of a masterful performance.