Bennie Maupin says he’s only learned a few phrases in Polish. But he’s discovered firsthand that the language of jazz can transcend all boundaries. And his new recording, Early Reflections (Cryptogramophone), recorded in Warsaw with a band of Polish musicians, is a definitive display of what can happen when improvisation becomes the ultimate form of communication.
“I actually met these guys two years before we went into the studio,” says the trimly bearded Maupin over a cappuccino in a San Fernando Valley Starbucks. “I knew they could play, even before we got together, because I heard their influences-Bill Evans, Ahmad Jamal, Herbie Hancock, and more.”