From about two years ago here is an abbreviated set at just over 28 minutes, quite impelling nonetheless. Traczyk is a skilled craftsman of the double bass, made to sound as if enhanced by processing and/or preparations in infrequent circumstances (though the sleeve does not mention this, so I’ll stick with the idea that everything derives from the lone instrument’s soul and vibrational properties). In particular, two characteristics keep their residence in the memory after several listens. The first is the impression of total allegiance to a type of emancipated expressiveness that shapes the set’s entireness; the second is the constitutional musicality of what is played. This Polish gentleman manages to uncover shards of melodic phrases even when the going gets really tough, executing now rather calm, now seriously aroused designs where regular pitches are now and then supplanted or alternated with strident upper partials or bare percussive suggestions. The configuration of the whole remains continually discernible: tightness is warranted all along, with the plus of a magnificent recording quality ennobling the wooden core of a big-boned growling beast, ultimately led to concordance following a difficult battle against its indocile Massimo Ricci

Wojtek Traczyk name might sound familiar to you from The Light trio with Waclaw Zimpel and Robert Rasz, "Free Solo" is his debut solo cd. Solo performance is possibly one of the most difficult and daring musical tasks one can undertake. One remains bare, completely exposed. No instrumental gimmicks and trickery is allowed. Extreme honesty and commitment is the only way.

"Free Solo" is a spiritual journey, its chapters entitled after the parts of christian mass. The cd is only 30 minutes long but the intesity of the music defies it. It does so with the gripping and tense arco of Examen Conscientiae, the gentle notes of Agnus Dei, intertwined with sharp atonal chords.

The music is dense and full of tension. Fully committed performance is an opposite of a virtuosity display. Traczyk's statement is that of raw energy and spiritual purity, it is a music of sacrum sphere and katharsis effect. It is in fact an act of faith, the musician himself writes in the liner notes:
Performing solo pulls me out of everyday life and puts me out there in that high place of danger and awareness that I long for, risking everything, giving everything, not knowing yet believing, and brings purification and freedom that is so hard to find.
"Free Solo" grabs your attention, it demands it and rewards it .by (Free) Jazz Alchemist

Tomasz Janas/

"...Skoro mowa o medytacyjnej, mistycyzującej muzyce free improv, to warto wspomnieć też o jeszcze jednej płycie wydanej staraniem poznańskiej oficyny. To solowy album kontrabasisty Wojtka Traczyka, znanego choćby z grupy The Light Zimpla. Płyta Traczyka jest podróżą duchową, a jej program oparty został na częściach mszy świętej. "Free Solo" to niespełna pół godziny grania, ale jest to muzyka o takiej intensywności, gęstości i energii, że doprawdy wystarczy. To jednocześnie w pełni autorska wypowiedź - nie jako zestaw chwytów retorycznych i manualnych technik, a jako próba przemówienia prawdziwie własnym językiem, naprawdę od siebie, tylko w swoim imieniu."

Paolo Casertano

Poland has an increasingly vivid jazz scene. Thanks to the impressive work of labels such as Multikulti and Not Two, together with a remarkable number of jazz festivals, their strong tradition has gained international recognition and expands constantly towards new territories and paths. These young and gifted musicians seem to pay attention to the tradition and strengthen it just as much as they alter it by exploring its outer edges. Just think of the Oles brothers and their collaborations with Ken Vandermark.
To this category belongs as well the solo effort of Wojtek Traczyk. We’ve already met him in the bright trio “The Light”. Take a look 
here and here.

According to the liner notes by the musician himself: “Performing solo pulls me out of everyday life and puts me out there in that high place of danger and awareness that I long for risking everything giving everything not knowing yet believing and brings purification and freedom that is so hard to find”.

This is a spiritual journey indeed. Starting from the title of each “stage”. First is “Examen Conscientiae”, a self-examination the musician seems to face alone, using his own private and intimate language. It sounds like a mantra introducing us to the religious dimension and vision of Traczyk. An elongated note repeating in a timeless sequence, the bow flows slowly hesitating to leave the strings, unflappable, almost obliterating itself on the bass neck. You can hear a breath after the first passage. Presumably Traczyk, or maybe it is the instrument itself. On condition that you are willing to hear it.

The album is short and it deserves a deep listening. How could you otherwise approach to a solo album and to the innermost meanings a musician set down to each single decision he makes when he’s so unveiled to everyone? Especially when he chooses it will not be his - anyway evident - mastery and virtuosity to give uncritically to the listener the keys for it. Traczyk is looking for the right expression, the best structure and the most touching tone to let his thoughts seep out.

The title of the second composition, “Kyrie”, is the transliteration of an ancient Greek word now best known as a vocation prayer in the Christian liturgy. Far baritone melodies and their resonances start to outcrop and come closer merging into “Gloria”. Strings unravel and struggle to find their place, climbing up to the high notes register supported by distorted chords and sharp pitches. There’s a great balance between atonal and tonal.

After this turmoil, gentle comes “Sanctus” as a short lullaby echoing classical arias.

In “Benedictus” and “Agnus Dei” - basically one composition split in two - appears the first pizzicato of the album disguised as short rhythmic patterns spaced out by resonances that envelop the double bass. At first melodic phrasing grows slowly, then it evolves in a brutal attack on the strings. Traczyk whips and hits the wood before partially finding rest in a recurring hypnotic beat on which he inlays brief melodies.

In the closing act strings are turned loose and they blend in a droning stream. Voices decrease, last shrills before coming back to silence.

A real compelling solo debut.