ONE FINE EVENING IN FEBRUARY 2005...

Coldness bothers me a lot and long lasting darkness makes it feel really bad. I am walking with my head buried in my scarf so that it can give me at least a short moment of pleasant warmth. That is the beauty of winter! Everybody is wrapped up in their coats and looks like a robot: as they are walking past me they do not seem to notice anybody or anything. It is cold and windy. It looks like today is the day winter is freezing us more than ever. The only thing I can think of is how to get home the fastest possible and warm my thoughts up with some hot tea. I can already picture myself sitting in a warm room with a mug in my hand. And as I try to go on with this vision in my head, I come across a white piece of something hanging in a place where nothing has ever hung before. After taking a close look at it I realize that it is a poster of a forthcoming concert of LESZEK CICHONSKI – an excellent guitar player from Wroclaw. I can not believe my eyes, I pick up my mobile and choose the option 'organizer' to enter the date, the time and the price of the ticket. And all of a sudden, the hot mug of tea and the warm touch of my scarf simply lose their importance. Old memories have started to come back and for the rest of my journey have kept my shivering feet, hands and thoughts so warm...

Leszek started to be my contagious desease about 6-7 years ago when I was infected by Someone who at that time was very special to me. He showed up from nowhere, took notice of me, found me.He was there...and was not, in and out , for about 7 years. Gave me the strength to hold on, infected me with music – the one he himself was keen on. It was him who taught me jazz, who used to take me to festivals in Głogów , concerts. It was also thanks to him that I first heard The Allmans. I used to put on headphones and , nested in cushions when nothing seemed to go right,...I got familiar with their sound. And it was also him who showed me Leszek- he once grabbed me by the hand and took to Wrocław to one of His concerts. Later he magically got hold of a record with Stan Skibb THANKS JIM www.thanksjimi.it-self.pl. It was my first Lp by those two guitarrists...

As I keep on walking, I still pass by freezing people, but my thoughts still keep me warm. So, I think there is a good opportunity to meet at the concert on 22nd of February. Something inside me tells me He is going to be there, too. But this time it was me who grabbed a friend by the hand to show Leszek . Who knows, she might get hooked on him just like me?

This is how things are, in my opinion – you give what you take, you pass to others and "infect" them with what is good and valuable to you, what your beautiful experiences are associated with.And I was right: among all those people who came to the concert that evening there was also Him. He was sitting far away , but throughout the evening I could still feel bonds between us , memories from concerts and, above all , feelings for Leszek’s music. It was GUITAR WORKSHOP, the Protagonist of the evening appeared with his band and had his debut..as a singer. Yes, that is right, Leszek started singing ! So, in my particular case, musical performances, with strong emotions and sesitivity to lead guitar playing caused all this fuss ;-)

This is the beginning of my fascination. It may sound trivial. Yes, it may. I have tried so many times to find a clear answer , why ? Now I know that there is no such thing like just one aswer , but it has certainly something to do with the sound of the guitar that incorporates such enormous power , energy and charm that even after repetitive listening they never lose their colour. And I am saying this with absolute certainty , because these sounds have rocked me for over a year now. In May another concert was held in Legnica, this time with J.B. Tucker. Off I went again grabbing by the hand that same friend of mine who ,by that time, was totally hooked on Leszek. Her cheering whistles were the loudest and I was only happy to have such great support by my side J That night you could become yoursef again among all those guitar sounds of blues . Leszek did his leads in a fabulous way , so melodious, and when I add myself to them , I can listen to them forever and enjoy their colour each time. His music never loses its taste and this you can check for yourself. I have chosen two songs from the May concert with J. B. Tucker in the jazz club. They may not be the best quality as they were not recorded in the best conditions, but you will be able to feel the atmosphere of Legnica and , above all, those incredible guitar sounds.
So, I am inviting you for a short musical recess:

There is Nothing I Can Do
If You Love Like You Say

It is still beautiful May – with all those spring colours around us and still vivid memories of Legnica concert on my mind.The GUINNES RECORD BEATING event is coming close www.cichonski.art.pl/guinness2/index.htm in Wrocław. This time I went there with my eight-year-old son and his two years younger cousin. We took a train and went straight to Wrocław Market Square where we could immediately experience the immense power of the event. What a great deal of effort it must have taken to organize! And to those who missed it I can only say: you do not know what you have missed! But equally fast must I comfort you and invite to the next Record Beating , which undoubtedly will heat you up even more year by year !The age and looks are not important – everybody has the same fun, and the atmosphere is so heartwarming that each and every person can feel unique. He who once experienced the feast will include it in his agenda forever, I am absolutely sure, as it is something outstanding and obligatory :-).

Hey Joe for 1201 guitars [GRG, 2005]

It is June and the evening is not far away, little by little all the haste of the day calms down, so there is some time I can spend with myself. I play “So Close So Far Away “ from Leszek’s CD... It is a tune by Derek Trucks but performed by Leszek becomes more profound and, above all, gains more warmth.It is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful songs I have ever heard. He who composed it must have been experiencing something really special. The sounds are overwhelming. Never before has the sound of a guitar touched me so deeply. Listen...

So Close So Far Away

Darkness is all around me, as well as silence – the beauty of the night time. I play "So close.." again , sipping the pleasure of it in small doses. I like the atmosphere of such moments. At present, whenever things do not seem to go right, I put on my headphones and replace Allman Brothers by ...Leszek Cichoński. His sound has soothed me like nothing before. And out of the blue a crazy thought, which has never come to me before, starts banging in my head in the middle of the night: I am going to make the covers for both Legnica live records! I am thinking:well, they are not professional, it is true, but still...A small trace , a sign to leave behind...And it would be a great way to give thanks for all those incredible emotions one can feel on the other side of the guitar...I am going to “dress them up”, it is going to be cool! I play the CD once again and let my thoughts carry me away, there is no point in trying to get some sleep anyway :-). One thought chases another... it is hard to control what is going on in my mind.
And this is how it all started: freaking out in a positive way. My first cover project - looking for someone who could carry out my ideas with the aid of a computer - it was all a long way to go, but it gave me strength, joy, satisfaction and magic faith... faith that I will make it! And so it happend. It is done!
Being my first amateur cover I think it is quite all right. I put the fruit of my work into an envelope and sent it to the Protagonist of all this confusion :) And here goes the result, you can check it yourself !

      

I once read in an interview with Leszek, and learnt them by heart, these words, which in my opinion will sum up what I have written here so far: "There is always time for you to change something in your life for the better. You surely have to listen to yourself and go ahead".

And I will add some words from my heart that I believe will complete this thought: sometimes it is worthwhile to step out from the troop to search for what enriches you from the inside, gives you strength, energy and glow... the glow which can lighten up your reality, even just for a minute, but believe me: this minute will last forever

This first cover of mine is only an evidence that listening to your heart J and being persistent at the same time...you can achieve anything. The picture used in the cover was taken from the private collection of Marcin Tomaszuk, thanks Marcin :)

My blues regards
Beata [Legnica, luty 2005 r.]


COMMENTS

I have read your story , Beata. Trivial? No.I think, that every fan of blues and jazz has gone a similar way. I and my kids also went to the Market Square , also with our guitars.My son is 16, "a rebel" - "against everything" - and although I know he is sorry now, he did not play at that time and still sticks to this choise. But I convinced my twelve-year-old daughter (a ballet dancer), who can not play,to come with me and pretend to play. Yes,she was cheating, but it was worthwhile because she decided to be able to play next year. She is already training a little (she is doing piano at school). If you want, you can use my collection of records – I have about 800 jazz records and 100 of blues and old rock'n'roll, a lot of concerts from tv and DVD.
Regards.Slawek from Lodz.