Monday, February 18, 2013

Piotr Zaczek – Mutru (2006)

Piotr Zaczek - bass, keyboards, electronics
Maciej Kocinski - saxophone
Adam Baldych - violin
Jerzy Malek - trumpet
Ania Szarmach - vocals
Kuba Badach - vocals


By Adam Baruch

This is the debut solo album by Polish Jazz bassist / composer Piotr Zaczek, recorded with several fellow musicians, such as saxophonist Maciej Kocinski, trumpeter Jerzy Malek, violinist Adam Baldych, keyboardists Marcin Gorny and Grzegorz Jablonski, and drummer Robert Luty. Two vocalists: Ania Szarmach and Kuba Badach take care of the vocal parts. The album includes fifteen compositions, thirteen of which are by Zaczek, one by Szarmach and the remaining one is a Pop song.

The music is heavily oriented towards Fusion, Funk and Ambient, featuring the bass as a leading instrument. The musicians provide some exciting solos and vocals, but overall this is electric bass haven, and people who love the sound of fretless bass will definitely enjoy this album to the max. Zaczek is obviously a virtuoso and some of his licks are quite phenomenal. No wonder he is one of the most sought after session musicians in Poland.

As much as I enjoy my Fusion and Funk, the Ambient soundscapes are less exciting, especially electronic programmed drums. Of course I realize they are an integral part of what Zaczek wanted to present here, and they are very well done, just that particular sound somehow doesn't sit well with me. Several of the album tracks are plays solo by Zaczek, who plays basses, keyboards and programmed the drums, others are performed by a duet, trio etc. There is enough diversity and certainly a lot of excellent performances to make this a nice album to listen to.

Of course this is on the lighter side of Jazz and geared mostly towards Fusion fans, which are the natural habitat for this music. Of course bass players should be fairly warned that hearing this album might be very frustrating for some of them ;)

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