Born: January 27, 1957 Primary Instrument: Flute
KRZYSZTOF POPEK is a leading Polish jazz flute player topping the jazz rankings of the Jazz Forum monthly (The European Jazz Magazine) for many years and also owner of a well-known label Power Bros.
He started off as a jazz musician at Jazz Juniors ’82 and Jazz Nad Odra ’85 festivals winning individual awards at both. He plays the soprano and alto flute. Besides, he is a composer, arranger and inspirational leader of his numerous bands of which Young Power stands out as the most renowned and popular.
The successful Letters and Leaves album recorded in 1996 by Krzysztof Popek Quintet was nominated for the Polish Grammy Award � Fryderyk ’96 and came second in Jazz Forum’s Album of the Year ’96 ranking.
In 2005 he recorded the House of Jade album featuring Victor Lewis, David Friesen, Randy Porter and Piotr Wojtasik and in 2006 You Are In My Heart with Joe LaBarbera, David Friesen, Randy Porter and Piotr Wojtasik and in 2007 together with Victor Lewis, Cameron Brown, Stephen Scott and Piotr Wojtasik - Estate.
He has performed in major clubs in Europe, and also at such festivals as Warsaw Jazz Summer, Jazz Jamboree, Molde International Jazz Festival, Göttinger Jazzfestival, Leverkusener Jazz Tage, Nancy Jazz Pulsations, Berlin Jazz Tage, Stockholm Jazz and Blues All Stars Festival and many others. In 1997 Krzysztof Popek and his Quintet performed in Bonn, Germany to celebrate Poland’s accession to NATO.
Awards:Every year since 1988 (also in 2008) Krzysztof Popek has been awarded the Flute Player of the Year ( Jazz Forum - The European Jazz Magazine ) 1987 �" Krzysztof Popek awarded the Musician of the Year (Jazz Forum - The European Jazz Magazine) 1987 �" Young Power (Krzysztof Popek’s big band ) awarded the Big Band of the Year (Jazz Forum - The European Jazz Magazine) 1988 �" Krzysztof Popek awarded the Musician of the Year (Jazz Forum - The European Jazz Magazine) 1988 �" Krzysztof Popek awarded the Arranger of the Year (Jazz Forum - The European Jazz Magazine) 1988 �" Young Power ( Krzysztof Popek’s big band ) awarded the Band of the Year 1996 - Krzysztof Popek Quintet’s “Letters & Leaves" Album of the Year (Jazz Forum - The European Jazz Magazine) 1996 Krzysztof Popek Quintet’s “Letters & Leaves" was nominated for the Polish Grammy Award �" Fryderyk ’96
On You Are in My Heart Popek plays warbly, easy-going alto flute (in G, down a fourth from concert flute) in front-line with Piotr Wojtasik’s tidy flugelhorn, assuring mellow weavings and rounded unisons on this straightahead quintet date. Handpicked melodies by trumpeters (Tom Harrell, Randy Brecker), reedmen (Larry Schneider’s “Tomato Kiss”, Wayne Shorter’s “Virgo”), pianist Kenny Barron (“Voyage”, “Cook’s Bay”) and a polite waltz from The King and I, assure material variety, but the date foot-pedals to achieve lift-off. Popek’s loose-limbed lines and curious thought processes feel less snooze controlled than deliberate and his leisurely momentum is spurred largely by reasoned propulsion from rhythm veterans, Dave Friesen (bass) and Joe LaBarbera (drums). Randy Porter supplies pleasing piano solos. Fred Bouchard, May 2007, ALLABOUTJAZZ - NEW YORK
Krzysztof Popek with his flute conjured up magnificient melodies.He has done it as if it was a magical flute.
Szymon Kropaczewski http://www.tutej.pl/cms.php?i=27910
Beautifully shaped sound,deep,calm tune and clear melodic lines are the distinguishing marks of his style.The connection with Newton is visible by using modal scales and by sharing a passion for Ellington ( here his subject can be found Lost in Meditation), with Herbie Mann the common thing is a dynamic groove.
Marek Romański - JAZZ FORUM 12/05
Despite his youthful personality Krzysztof Popek has been a fixture on the Polish Jazz scene for the last quarter of a century. He was one of the first European musicians in 1980's to fluently adopt Ornette Coleman's approach to harmony, tempo, melody and improvisation into his own voice. Later on he focused his attention on more conventional jazz but has always remained open to the jazz music evolution. With his newest album You Are in My Heart, the 2nd one in 2006 after critically acclaimed House of Jade, Popek proves once again that his artistic development is still on track - and moving with the speed of the drum beat.
You Are in My Heart is a winning combination of mature mainstream with the sophistication of fresh post-bop acoustic sound and perfectly selected neo classics from composers ranging from Kenny Barron to Wayne Shorter to ...Krzysztof Popek . This virtuosity has always been Popek's landmark and his new album is no exception from this rule. His command of (alto) flute is superior, his swing complete, his improvisation always engaging and colorful. To make things even better, he finds another distinctive voice on his latest album: the trumpet of his long time collaborator Piotr Wojtasik. Wojtasik on his part brings just right amount of intellectual reflection often reaching beyond straight-ahead, combining all with strong cool jazz tradition.
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