Sunday, April 7, 2013

Jola Szczepaniak - Babagada (2010)

Jola Szczepaniak - vocal

Christoph Reuter - piano, Rhodes, Nordlead
Steffen Illner - double bass
Jens Dohle - drums
Andrzej Jagodziński - piano
Marcin Pospieszalski - fretless
Marcin Pepe Olkowski - flugelhorn, trąbka

Baltic Neopolis Quartet: Łukasz Górewicz - skrzypce, Karolina Uźniak - skrzypce, Emilia Goch - altówka, Tomasz Szczęsny - wiolonczela

Szczecin Gospel Choir directed by Edyta & Izabela Turowski

Babagada (2010)

Text by Maciej Nowotny

I often say about the renaissance of Polish jazz in recent years. One of its symptoms is growing number of vocal jazz recordings, especially female. Unfortunately in this case the number does not go with the quality which is rather low. Many of these projects are standard, secondary, unambitious. Singing is poor, for me who for years was enamoured in great opera singers, it is really a torture to listen how bad articulations are, how negligent phrasing, how clumsy spelling, particularly when text is in English. But there are exceptions which give hope that future ahead of Polish vocal jazz may still be bright: Aga Zaryan (check her "Looking Walking Being") or Grzegorz Karnas (check his "Audiobeads") being good examples. 

Among them I would also place Jola Szczepaniak and her debut album "Babagada". Student of famous Berklee College of Music in Boston, she also won numerous jazz contests among which the prize at respected Jazz Nad Odrą festival should be highlighted. Excellently educated and herself a teacher of singing in music college in Szczecin, she proved to be in this project a perfectionist in every detail. She invited excellent musicians as much from Poland (Andrzej Jagodziński, Marcin Pospieszalski, Marcin Pepe Olkowski) as from Germany (Christoph Reuter, Steffen Illner, Jens Dohle). If that was not enough she also employed string quartet and gospel choir!

But it was worth it. Regardless that so many musicians took place in its recording, the music on this album is coherent. It can be placed somewhere between maistream jazz, nu jazz and pop but all labels are irrevelant here. The most important is that music sounds fresh and is meticoulosly perfomed while singing of Szczepaniak is free, full of emotions, at moments ecstatic. I must say I am impressed. She is obviously a great passionate of music and this feeling easily transfers itself to listener. What is important her singing and her partners playing the instruments are perfectly complemented by great song writing by Piotr Klimak who as far a texts are concerned was skillfully assisted by (mainly) Konrad Dworakowski. The effect is very encouraging and I can only whoheartedly recommend this album!



1 comment:

  1. Beautiful music, but I can't find a possibility to download it or to buy the CD (in switzerland). Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...