SuFia – Dominik Bukowski Quartet, feat. Amir ElSaffar
Dominik Bukowski's album recorded together with the Israeli American trumpeter Amir EISaffar. Bukowski explained: 'I chose Polish folk songs and recorded them according to the traditional Arabic system of melodic modes called maqam (Arabic: maqām); to my astonishment, those traditional tunes ended up sounding better'. Bukowski is a vibraphonist and the leader of the quartet. He said about the collaboration:
My dream came true. I invited Amir EISaffar, an artist whose music career I have been observing for a long time. I admire the way he combines jazz with traditional Arabic music, despite being an American who lives in New York City. His father was born in Iraq. At a certain point of his career, EISaffar decided to explore his father's ancestor's music. He went to Bagdad to undertake studies under the great masters of the local music and learn how to play traditional instruments. He wanted to gain an insight into maqam.
An invitation of the American trumpeter was possible thanks to an offer submitted by a music club from Gdańsk. Bukowski was to perform a concert with a possible invitation of a star from abroad; the concert took place within the framework of the Jazz Jantar Festival. The musician said:
One condition was imposed on me – the concert was to be recorded and released as an album. I was even more happy with it and instantly thought about Amir.
Every once in a while, I had an opportunity to encounter different forms of Arabic music. I knew Amir's compositions and I found them very inspiring. My first thought was – we will not play Arabic music; this is not where we are from, we do not feel it the way Amir does. On the other hand, I did not want to play mainstream jazz, as what is the point of inviting such an incredible musician, if you are going to play typical jazz. I came to a conclusion that we also have something to offer and we started to work on Polish folk music.
The album has nine tracks – three Bakowski's authorial compositions are merged with Niedaleko Warszawy (Near Warsaw) from 1955, U młynarza (At Miller), Krakowiak and Oberek. In search of inspiration, Bukowski reached for Oskar Kolberg's works. He admitted: