Saturday, February 9, 2013

Mariia Guraievska feat. Ethno Jazz Synthesis - Water Nymphs (2012)

Mariia Guraievska feat. Ethno Jazz Synthesis

Mariia Guraievska – vocal
Michał Kapczuk – double bass
Sebastian Kuchczyński – drums
Mateusz Szczypka – guitar

Water Nymphs (2012)

By Maciej Nowotny

Some of the best things in Polish jazz has happened through cooperation with musicians from other countries and by mixing our tradition with those of other nations. The renewed interest in Jewish culture in Poland is one example. The other may be multiple collaborations with Scandinavian musicians. Close to these two leading phenomenons comes interest in musical heritage of our Eastern neighbours, especially Ukraine. "Water Nymphs" is an album that may be a good representative of such Polish-Ukraine projects, perhaps one of the most interesting ones, at least in purely artistic terms.

It is difficult to believe that "Water Nymphs" is a debut recording by vocalist Mariia Guraievska. Her singing is not only immaculate, spotless, technically perfect but also original, individual, unique. In her interpretation old folk songs coming from Kiev and Podolia region sound modern without losing their soul. What is important she managed to strike a balance between making this music attractive for the contemporary listener while paying homage to the tradition and yet finding a space for freedom. These are moments when I like her most: in crystal clear vocalizes when she plays with her sensual voice relishing in classy support she gets from excellent musicians playing in her band.

The contribution of Ethno Jazz Synthesis featuring some of the best Polish young jazz instrumentalists is the element that can not be overestimated. Michał Kapczuk on double bass (known from collaborations with talented trumpeter Piotr Schmidt), Sebastian Kuchczyński on drums (again playing with P. Schmidt but also with trombonist Michał Tomaszczyk and guitarist Przemek Strączyk) and Mateusz Szczypka on guitar provide Guraievska with dream-like support: compassionate, emphatic and tender enough to never dominate her delicate but expressive voice. All in all, this is truly a pearl as far as ethno-jazz is concerned, especially for those interested in Eastern European folk music. Bravo!

1. Under a White Tree
2. Travel to The Moon
3. Rural Infatuation
4. For a Stolen Child
5. Invisible Mountain
6. Water Nymphs
7. Beware of Pigeons
8. Sunshine Reapers
9. Cuckoo in The House
10. Cuckoo in The House (Reprise Live)
11. Under a White Tree (Radio Edit)


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