Vitold Rek - an incredible bassist with a magic bow

photo Vitold Rek & Charlie MarianoCharlie Mariano
* 12.11.1923, Boston, USA
† 16.06.2009, Cologne, Germany

Charlie Mariano and Vitold Rek started working together in 2000. Their first collaboration was in trio with Karl Berger. Following that, three CDs with Charlie and Vitold were released on Taso Music:

Vitold Rek –
The Polish Folk Explosion

(TMP 507, 2002)

Charlie Mariano & Vitold Rek –
opus absolutum

(TMP 509, 2003)

Charlie Mariano & Vitold Rek –
"Cathedral" Vol. 1

(TMP 611, 2005)

In spring 2003 a studio recording took place with both artists (feat. Vladislav Sendetzki, piano and Martin France, drums). This material was released on Taso Music in November 2003 as Charlie Mariano & Vitold Rek – opus absolutum and it received enthusiastic reviews. In Vitold's words: "I put this group together especially for this CD production: we had never played together before in this constellation. My musical friendship with Charlie Mariano had begun a couple of years earlier through Karl Berger, we played concerts together as a trio, and in 2001 I invited Charlie to a studio recording with Albert Mangelsdorff, John Tchicai and six Polish folk musicians. This music came out in 2002 on the CD Vitold Rek – The Polish Folk Explosion (Taso Music TMP 507). On opus absolutum we play almost exclusively works which I composed with Charlie in mind: without his spirit and creative energy this music wouldn't have come into being!"

"Opus absolutum is without a doubt an absolute masterpiece!"
Tobias Boecker, Jazzzeitung 2003, Germany

The group played several concerts in Germany and Poland including performances at the NDR Radio Studio Hamburg and at the Jazz in Palmengarten concert series in Frankfurt/Main.

Another project of Charlie Mariano & Vitold Rek – "Cathedral" Vol. 1 – was recorded in the St. Marien Church in Neu-Anspach, Germany, in Autumn 2004. This music was created mostly by Vitold for Charlie's alto & soprano saxophones & flute, church organ played by Peter Reiter and double bass played by himself.

Voices from the press on "Cathedral" Vol. 1:

"Cathedral Vol. 1 again pairs Rek with Mariano and features Peter Reiter on pipe organ. This music has an organic depth borne out of the artist's sense of self. 'The music is very personal and honest: I recorded the music I had in my body and being and it came out formed exactly as I had envisaged', Vitold comments."
Elliott Simon, All About Jazz, New York, Oct. 2005

"... Throughout, Reiter makes full use of the complex and fascinating harmonic and tonal possibilities of the pipe organ at St. Marien Church in Neu-Anspach, Germany, driving Mariano and Rek forward in torrents of harmonic, lyrical and sonic inspiration. The bassist's singing, noble pizzicato tone cuts through on 'Song of Love' like a tenor cantor intoning a mass. Rek's astonishing technique and musicality shine throughout the album and the quality of the compositions and interplay cannot be faulted. This is jazz of arrestingly strong character: infused with both the spirit of the music's history in American improvisation, and the heady flavour of European art and folk music tradition."
Matthew Simpkins, Double Bassist, England, Winter 2005/2006

"The slavic melancholy and the special spirituality of the pieces inspires Charlie Mariano to jubilant flights between heaven and earth. Vitold Rek shines with extremely virtuoso contributions. Stunning, breathtaking!"
Rating: *****
Georg Spindler, Mannheimer Morgen, Germany, March 2006

* (Elliott Simon, All About Jazz, New York)