Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Vit Kristan - Imprints (2013) ****

Vit Kristan

Vit Kristan - piano, fender rhodes, keyboards, vocal
Roman Vicha - drums, percussion
Jaromir Honzak - double bass, bass guitar

special guests:
Oskar Torok - trumpet
Marek Kadziela - guitar
Agnieszka Twardoch - vocal

Imprints (2013)

By Maciej Nowotny

Right from the beginning when young Czech pianist Vit Kristan started his studies at jazz faculty of Katowice Music Academy in Poland I was sure there is a bright future ahead of him. I expressed this premonition in many texts, among them in reviews of albums in which Vit took part as a sideman, namely two discs by Inner Quartet: "Inner Spaces" (2011), "Light Year" (2012) and an album "Blood Sings" (2013) recorded with Jaromir Honzak. His performance on these recordings justified the view that he and other talented Czech students of Katowice Academy such as Stepanka Balcarova or Lubos Soukup are not only great hopes of Czech but also of European music in general.

In his style there may be heard clear affinities as much to Polish jazz with its emotionalism, sense of drama and blues characteristics as to Scandinavian music with its solemnity, depth and openness to non-jazz influences. But most of all it is language of his own and I see present in his music some of the features of the works of great Czech classical composers, specifically a joyfulness, humor and certain, so peculiar to this nation, down-to-earth romanticism.

All in all such a extraordinary mixture combined with the stellar level of performance could produce nothing less but something special justifying all great hopes which I put in Kristan. The music on this album is coherent yet wonderfully varied and, most importantly, very personal. All tunes are originals composed by the leader who not only plays piano by actually also sings in duo with Polish vocalist Agnieszka Twardoch on a tune titled "Dreams". Apart from Vit Kristan the regular members of his trio are young drummer Roman Vicha and veteran double-bassist and the legend of Czech scene Jaromir Honzak. They are supported by the guests: a brilliant Slovak trumpeter Oskar Torok who is very well known to Polish audience as part of Polish band Pink Freud, Polish guitarist Marek Kądziela whose star is rising as evidenced by splendid "Meat Meet" by his group called Hunger Pangs and by above mentioned Agnieszka Twardoch whose performance on this album bodes well for the future.

Speaking shortly, this is a terrific debut by Vit Kristan which shall gladden the hearts of all music lovers in Czech Republic and in Europe in general. While in Poland we may only hope that links created between Czech and Polish young musicians while studying together will continue to bear in future such fruits as they did on this outstanding release. 





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