Friday, June 7, 2013

Marek Jakubowski Trio – My Own… (2013)

Adam Bieranowski - piano
Piotr Max Wiśniewski - bass
Marek Jakubowski - drums


By Adam Baruch

This is a beautiful debut album by young Polish Jazz drummer/composer Marek Jakubowski, who leads a classic piano trio with pianist Adam Bieranowski and bassist Piotr Max Wiśniewski. The album comprises of eleven original compositions, all by Jakubowski, three of which are short (a minute or less) interludes, i.e. there are eight full scale compositions altogether.

The focus of this album is the level of the compositions, which are all simply outstanding. Deeply rooted in Jazz tradition, they mange to present a fresh look at composition, which amalgamates a myriad of influences, starting with the intrinsically Polish melancholy and including odd meters, subtle World Music themes, vamping and repeated riffs, extra slow tempo and countless other tricks of the trade, which probably partly come about subconsciously. Nevertheless this music is first class – a fresh breath of air within the "mainstream" approach, which so often tends to be simply boring.

Combined with the superb level of execution by the trio, these compositions achieve full bloom and turn into a most pleasurable listening experience. All three musicians show a great level of respect towards each other and even though the drummer is the trio's leader there are no unnecessary solo spots just to prove it. In fact there is a perfect balance between the instruments, with the piano obviously stating the melody and harmony, as well as most of the improvised parts and the rhythm section supports it with a solid and empathetic embrace. The strength of a piano trio is never just a total of the individual talents of its members, must above all the level of cooperation and mutual interplay they are able to generate, as is splendidly shown here.

As usual in such cases my heart fills up with pride and joy every time a representative of the young generation of the Polish Jazz scene comes up with a project, which clearly shows that the heritage will be continued in the years to come. Those young musicians grow up musically much faster than decades earlier and by the time they graduate from music academies they are already accomplished musicians with a level of maturity that never ceases to amaze.

Overall this is an admirable debut, which immediately points out to keep the names of these musicians on the "watched" list, hoping to hear from them again. Every piano trio connoisseur in the world should be able to enjoy this music to the fullest, as I did. Well done indeed!

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