Saturday, June 4, 2011

Piotr Baron - Sanctus (2008)

While waiting for Piotr Baron's new album "Kadish" please read about his last recording:

Piotr Baron is musician of such narrative power that he can easily sustain whole album by himself. In this case he reminds me often my favorite post-McLean-era altoist namely Bobby Watson. Like Watson on many of his albums, even best ones as recorded for Italian Red recording label, Baron on "Sanctus" keep whole music together only with his overpowering presence and without him I am afraid this material would fall apart because of its eclectic character (mainstream, avant-garde, rhythm&blues, gospel are all present here). 
In one case though is Baron more fortunate than his famous American colleague: he is always surrounded by highest class sidemen. On "Sanctus" these are Michał Tokaj (piano), Łukasz Żyta (drums), Michał Barański (double bass) and as guests Thomas Celis Sanchez (percussion) and Piotr Wojtasik (trumpet). All these players belong to Polish mainstream premiere league but what is surprising that even vocalists who take part in this recording: Natalia Niemen (relatively unknown daughter of legendary singer Czesław Niemen) and Mietek Szcześniak (whom I disliked up to this album) adapt to the high level of play as displayed by instrumentalists, and give a display of their vocal abilities that is rewarding as well.
Going back to music I want to stress that everything on this album is subordinate to religious message expressing great joy and unshaken Christian faith. When compared to Baron's previous excellent albums like "Bogurodzica" and especially "Salve Regina" recorded with Wadada Leo Smith, the musical language become simplified, in purely musical terms it is therefore step back, which is a bit difficult to take for such lover on avant-garde as I am. Yet I must confess that the power of authenticity, belief, love as expressed by artists in order to praise glory of Lord easily overcome all critical objections. One is slowly, one rehearsal after another, drawn into Baron's own world where music, its style, is servant to something much more important. Very unique effort!

On this website you my find few songs from this excellent album.

Author: Maciej Nowotny

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