Twelve years into their career, RGG has become a significant representative of contemporary Polish acoustic jazz. Their contemplative, sonoristic music has made them one of the most acclaimed and subtle jazz formations of the young generation.
RGG was founded in 2001 by three students of the Jazz Faculty of the Music Academy in Katowice - Przemysław Raminiak (piano), Maciej Garbowski (double bass), Krzystof Gradziuk (drums). Their debut came in 2003, thanks to their winning the prestigious contest at the Bielska Zadymka Jazz Festival (today’s Lotos Jazz Festival). They were awarded with a recording session at Radio Katowice and released Scandinavia – an album revealing their love for the Scandinavian approach towards improvised music. The recording received nothing but praise from jazz journalists. Adam Baruch wrote for Polish Jazz Magazine:
Although obviously the work of young musicians, this is an incredibly impressive debut recording by any standard. The performances are remarkably mature and the compositions are both beautifully melodic and startlingly complex and excellently crafted. The overall level of this album is a clear indication of the potential this trio will fully develop in the years to come.
Right after Scandinavia’s release, RGG embarked on the biggest project in the trio’s history – recording a triptych comprising of three albums: Straight Story (inspired by David Lynch’s film entitled likewise), Unfinished Story – Remembering Mieczysław Kosz (dedicated to an amazingly gifted Polish pianist who died prematurely at the age of 29 in the 1970s) and True Story – In Two Acts which seemed to be an ending not only to the Story project but also to the process of crystallizing the trio’s style. Maciej Nowak wrote for Jazz Forum:
True Story was RGG’s credo of sorts, of the highest belief in artistic power of improvisation, of strongly standing for a certain aesthetic.
After exploring the spacious landscapes of freely improvised acoustic jazz, RGG members decided to return to ‘more organized and written’ music. Their 5th album entitled One is often regarded as a summary of the triptych. It fully shows the potential of the trio as a collective group of improvisers but on the other hand it draws inspiration from contemporary and chamber classical music. It seems to be much more planned and vigorous, including compositions such as the fast and dynamic C.T. – referring to one of the founders of the free jazz, the great Cecil Taylor.
In 2013 Łukasz Raminiak left the trio and was replaced by a young pianist Łukasz Ojdana. By this means, RGG trio (a name which used to stand for musicians’ surnames initials) became the first piano trio to change their pianist.
Promomix of RGG's latest album entitled Szymanowski
In this new line-up, RGG recorded their latest album Szymanowski, a set of pieces very much influenced by music associated with the famous ECM recording label. It is contemplative music, full of space and delicate illustrations, rather loosely related to the works of Krzysztof Szymanowski: preludes, mazurkas and variations.
The album, even though it was self-released, was critically acclaimed and considered as the opening of a new chapter in RGG trio's history.
Author: W.O. April 17th 2014. Source: rgg.com, polish-jazz.blogspot, Jazz Forum.