Friday, November 16, 2012

Ida Zalewska - As Sung By Billie Holiday (2012)

Ida Zalewska

Ida Zalewska - vocal
Kuba Płużek - Fender Rhodes, piano
Max Mucha - double bass
Arek Skolik - drums

guests:
Piotr Schmidt - trumpet
Marek Pospieszalski - tenor sax, bass clarinet
Jarosław Bothur - tenor sax
Adam Solski - trombone
Bartek Pieszka - vibraphone

As Sung By Billie Holiday (2012)

By Maciej Nowotny

Sometimes I am like a little child: I like SURPRISES! And this record is such a surprise, a very pleasant surprise indeed. Because who really heard anything about Ida Zalewska? For couple of years she was verging between soul, blues, R&B and jazz. But she never indeed made to spotlights as separate, distinctive and creative individuality. Not until 10th November that is the day of premiere of her second (at least it seems so to me!) album dedicated to American heroine of vocal jazz, Billie Holiday.

You could ask what made so deep impression on me? Certainly all these songs were sung hundreds  of times after the immortal performances by Lady Day. But somehow Ida Zalewska succedeed where many have failed. She neither tried to reinterpret these songs and make them coherent with modern jazz aesthetics nor she imitated performances of Holliday in which case she would be doomed to failure. Instead she sung Billie Holliday songs in most natural, unpretentious and sincere way expressing her love towards art as created by this extraordinary woman. Since it coincidies with the fact that almost all these songs are about love, therefore the album is sparkling with emotions, with longing, with sweet languor associated with being enamoured in other human being.

This sensous mood is marvellously underlined by Ida's voice. Unlike any other in Poland this voice is deep, low, sultry. It reminds me a bit of voice of Diana Krall without being overcontrolled or Norah Jones without being monotonnous. If I was to compare her to somebody, I would point out at Patricia Barber who though not having big voice through masterfully operating moods manages to make her singing unique. Ida seems to follow similar route, and I am happy to announce now, ladies and gentlemen, the birth of an accomplished jazz singer!

But her star would not shine so brightly without background as created by stunning performances of musicians who accompany her. They are all well known to conseisseurs of Polish jazz. Her quartet consists of pianist Kuba Płużek (very talented enfant terrible of famous Music Academy in Katowice), double bassist Max Mucha (yet another fabulously talented young lad from this school) and veteran drummer Arek Skolik (whose class is beyond any doubt). They are supported by very well chosen set of guests in persons of trumpeter Piotr Schmidt, saxophonists Marek Pospieszalski and Jarosław Bothur, trombonist Adam Solski and vibraphonist Bartek Pieszka. These guys' input in creating this excellent piece of jazz cannnot be overestimated. Bravo!



1 comment:

  1. Muzycznie płyta jest super! Ale jakoś nie podoba mi się brzmienie kontrabasu, jakby był za mgłą czy jak... Może to tak ma być, a ja jestem głuchy ;-)

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