featuring Rodrigo Amado
The Great Bydgoszcz Concert
“In March of 2008, my sons and I got on board a northbound airliner that would take us first from Dallas to Minneapolis, then Amsterdam, and finally to our long-awaited destination, Warsaw. Zbigniew Szwajewski and I had worked on the possibility of our touring northeastern Poland for a few months, and it was about to happen. At the same time, in Lisbon, Portugal, saxophonist Rodrigo Amado was boarding a plane which would take him to Warsaw where he would meet us for our second tour together.
We’ve always had a great time playing with guest instrumentalists, but Rodrigo is more than a guest – he is like a brother to all three of us, and a fine improviser as well… stronger and stronger all the time, as you can hear in this recording. As for my sons Aaron and Stefan, I’ve been playing music with them for ten years now in Yells At Eels – in May of 2009 we celebrated our first decade together – and they are monsters on their instruments (as jazz musicians like to say), and a real joy to play with.
We were warmly met at Warsaw’s Frederic Chopin International Airport by Jarek Polit, owner of the finest jazz and blues record store in Poland, Rubikon, and our translator/caretaker in Warsaw, Joana ‘Asia’ Chojnaska. From that moment on, the four of us were treated like royalty, every need met the second we mentioned it. The audiences were right with us from the first note, and they completely filled the venues where we played, cheering us on at every turn, and coming up to talk to us and congratulate us on our music. And although Zbig is a busy industrialist, he drove us everywhere, taking care of problems, checking us in and out of hotels, making sure we were awakened at the right time to make our daily treks to the different cities where our concerts were to be presented, feeding us the best food at the right time, and just generally preparing everything in advance so that we didn’t have a care in the world, except for playing the best we could for our newfound (and in some cases, long-standing) fans. Our thanks to Zbig, Asia, Jarek, and our driver Jacek, as well as the presenters at the concert halls and clubs where we played in Warsaw, Pozna?, Bydgoszcz (Mózg especially, where this was recorded), Gdynia, Olsztyn, and then again in Warsaw, where the legendary Tomasz Sta?ko was in attendance.”-Dennis Gonzalez
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