Saturday, June 11, 2011

Adam Baldych / Damage Control - Magical Theatre (2011)

Adam Bałdych Damage Control

Adam Bałdych - violin
Josh Lawrence - trumpet
Paweł Tomaszewski - piano
Andrzej Gondek - guitar
Piotr Żaczek - bass
Jakub Cywiński - double bass
Michał Bryndal - drums
Adam Sak - guitar

In-depth review by Adam Baruch, a critic and owner of fine music boutique (https://www.jazzis.com/shop/): 

The violin holds a very special position in the history of modern Polish Jazz, and except for France, no other European country can pride itself in such splendid heritage as far as the use of violin in Jazz is concerned.

The first generation of modern Polish Jazz musicians includes three distinguished Jazz violinists: Michał Urbaniak (born 1943), Zbigniew Seifert (born 1946) and Krzesimir Dębski (born 1953). Each of these virtuosi and exceptional composers made his mark not only on Polish Jazz, but also on European Jazz and World Jazz scenes. Of course each of these three musicians offered a unique and very individual approach to violin, all being innovators and pioneers: Urbaniak contributed greatly to the development of Jazz-Fusion and Jazz-Funk, Seifert to modern and Free Jazz and Dębski to the amalgam of Jazz and contemporary Classical music.

Adam Bałdych (born 1986) is of course a member of a different generation; one might even say a child of a very different era. His predecessors lived and created under the Socialist regime, which of course was far from enabling the freedom of expression and the opportunities to study and develop musical talents, and their life was a story of constant struggle with reality. Bałdych grew up in a "new" Poland, liberated, democratic and full of opportunities. That does not mean, of curse, that his life and his path to success was an easy one.

Considered a child prodigy, Bałdych started his performing and then composing careers very early on, which explains his extremely impressive biography at the age of 25. The list of awards, notable performances, composing credits and recordings could easily satisfy a musician twice his age or more.

And yet Bałdych considers this album a pivotal point of his career and although not his recording debut, this is certainly a new begging, hopefully of an international career. Recorded with his band called Damage Control, "Magical Theatre" is certainly an album, which should expose him to the worldwide audiences.

Bałdych composed six of the eight compositions present here and co-composed one more, with the last being composed by the band's keyboardist. The band includes gifted young players, who provide him with excellent support and execute his complex compositions with grace and panache. Full of youthful spirit and energy, the album flows beautifully from one track to the next, changing moods and atmospheres, but always remaining fascinating. There are no dull moments here, no boring parts and no fillers – just one continuous flow of entrancing music, which keeps the listener captivated.

Of course regardless of how good the performers might be, the primary strength of this album lies in the music contained herein. Bałdych's compositions are simply spot on and his unique ability to amalgamate the Jazz tradition, the Polish romanticism and the contemporary sound techniques works perfectly. An experienced listener will be able to discover many delicate musical hints and references in this music, especially in Bałdych's solos, but surely anybody able of enjoying good music will find here starlight qualities. I'm sure that Michał, Zbigniew and Krzesimir would be proud of the continuator of their splendid heritage.

What remains is to hope that as many music connoisseurs as possible will eventually discover this gem and hold it dear to their hearts. I certainly hope it does happen, big time, as it is well deserved!

PS. Album is available for purchase here: CDBaby.

Music from this album - tune titled "Room Of Imagination":




Author of text: Adam Baruch (http://www.adambaruch.com/)


8 comments:

  1. The beauty of jazz music lies in improvisation, in momentum, in the conversation between musicians, in the feeling they have, they bring to the table.
    In such a great review by Mr. Adam Baruch the only thing missing is the recognition - names of all the participants of that "Magical.." conversation. I can see tags but no name is added to the text of Mr.Baruch's review.
    Also - Trumpeter's name is missing entirely. Shame. The unique sound of that trumpet was brought by a special guest from New York City. I recommend a search. You might find some interesting facts and enjoy my talented brother's record even more.

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  2. Good point! Though critic should rather be pointed at Editor than Adam...;-) I shall add names ASAP. Thanks for feedback!

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  3. Will that ever be available as regular CD? I hope so...

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  4. yes, as far as I know, Cd will be available in October...

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  5. Thanks Maciej for the info. That would be good - I am not a big fan of mp3 releases.

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  6. The primary strength of this album IS the musicians. There would be no sound without us...

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  7. I very rarely list all the players in my reviews - its just information that is usually provided by the framework - like Maciej pointed out.
    That does not, by any means, devaluate the importance of the musicians, as pointed out in my review. Name dropping is just filling space...

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  8. @ Adam Baruch - point taken but I'm sticking to my guns. Names dropping versus decent recognition. We were really lucky to work with those musicians and that's what we owe them. Still, I really enjoyed your review! Thank you.
    @ Maciej - thanks for adding the names.

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