Friday, February 1, 2013

Wojciech Staroniewicz – Karambola (1999)

Wojciech Staroniewicz - saxophone
Robert Majewski - trumpet
Grzegorz Nagorski - trombone
Cezary Paciorek - piano
Olgierd Walicki - bass
Cezary Konrad - drums
Nippy Noya - perscussion


By Adam Baruch

This album by veteran Polish Jazz saxophonist / composer Wojciech Staroniewicz was recorded with a septet, which also included trumpeter Robert Majewski, trombonist Grzegorz Nagorski, pianist Cezary Paciorek, bassist Olgierd Walicki, drummer Cezary Konrad and Indonesian (living in Netherlands) percussionist Nippy Noya. It includes seven compositions, five of which are originals by the leader and two are standards.

It was also the first release on his own record label, called Allegro Records, one of the first musician's owned independent record labels in Poland, which just a decade prior to the release date of this album finally managed to shake off the Socialist regime. During that regime's rule, which lasted for forty five years, all recordings in Poland were released only by the state owned record label, which single-handedly dictated which music saw the light of day and which didn't. Of course as a result many great musicians, especially those with avant garde inclinations or anti-Government attitude, never received the opportunity to make an album. After the regime's fall by the end of 1980s, the economic realities replaced the political censorship as a decisive factor as to which music will be released, and an independent, self owned record label is definitely the best solution. In retrospect Allegro Records managed to become one of the leading such labels in Poland, releasing consistently excellent material by the owner, his many friends and other Polish Jazz musicians.

The music on this album presents a change of direction for Staroniewicz, as for the first time his great love for World Music is revealed in full. Strongly influenced by Cuban music and other South American musical accents, the music emerges as a superb amalgam of classic mainstream with these folkloristic elements. Beautifully arranged and perfectly executed, it is a non-stop delight from start to finish, with plenty of great soloing and excellent support by the rhythm section. The presence of Noya adds greatly to the overall sound and enhances the World Music feel. Although to a great extent sophisticated, the music sounds really "easy" and most of all danceable, which is a rare achievement. There is an incredible version of George Gershwin's "Summertime" here, which will make your behind vibrate.

This is definitely an album every true Jazz connoisseur would love to have in his collection. I can't help it but to recommend it wholeheartedly. Superb stuff!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...