Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Adam Kowalewski - For You (2013) ****1/2

Adam Kowalewski

Adam Kowalewski - double bass
Piotr Wyleżoł - piano

For You (2013)

By Maciej Nowotny

Any album on which pianist Piotr Wyleżoł apperas immadietely catches my attention. He may be not so well known as for example Marcin Wasilewski or Leszek Możdżer but he definitely is as much talented as those two heavy weights. And what is even more important he does not imitate any of them as much as any other pianist abroad which puts him apart from a pack of young lions (Paweł Kaczmarczyk, Piotr Orzechowski, Dominik Wania or Sebastian Zawadzki) who still are looking for their own unique language.

Here we find him in duo with double bassist Adam Kowalewski who is himself very well known musician on Polish scene with countless recordings already made regardless being still relatively young. Kowalewski composed five out eight tunes on the album with Wyleżoł contributing one and with two - "Little Girl I'll Miss You" written by Bunky Green and "If One Could Only See" by Billy Harper. Most importantly however those two artists have already long story of mutual collaboration with projects such as "Yearning" (2001) or Piotr Wyleżoł Quintet "Live" (2010) stading out as some of the best mainstream recordings in recent decade.

In piano - double bass duo the empathy between players translates directly into the depth of music. If it is combined with boundless imagination of both players what we obtained is a small masterpiece. Many recordings of similar character - and charm! - were coming to my memory while listening to this album: first of all Hank Jones with Charlie Haden. But basically every great piano player has such duo in his curriculum and cherishes it a lot as it is simply a pinnacle of every pianist and double bassist career to be able to play in such a format. Paul Bley with Gary Peacock, Cedar Walton with Ron Carter or Stefano Bollani with Ares Tavolazzi are coming to my memory for similar virtuosity and some artistical affinity since they all have technique based on classical education and their style is influenced by Bill Evans revolutionary recordings (among them of course great album in duo "Intuition" recorded with Eddie Gomez).

Overall mood of this album is cool and down tempo. Music is wonderfully coherent and though generally kept in minor keys, the tunes are very diversified. Speaking shortly: this album is a true gem! A word of praise also shall be dedicated to Hevhetia recording company. This Slovak label is doing good job releasing many artists from Central Europe and it is really great that such artists like Adam Kowalewski, Piotr Wyleżoł or Grzegorz Karnas are making important contribution to its catalogue. Bravo!


  1. I wish I knew how to get some of these CDs ! Does anyone know where I could order them ? I live in Canada, so it's fairly difficult to get Polish CDs !

  2. Elsie, you can buy the CD on This album is absolutely brilliant!


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