Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Jazz Construction – Jazz Construction (2009) ****

Marcin Kania - saxophone
Krzysztof Lenczowski - guitar
Wawrzyniec Prasek - piano
Jacek Kaliszewski - bass
Wojciech Bylica - drums

MTS 014

By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by the young Polish Jazz quintet Jazz Construction, which comprises of saxophonist Marcin Kania, guitarist Krzysztof Lenczowski, pianist Wawrzyniec Prasek, bassist Jacek Kaliszewski and drummer Wojciech Bylica. Lenczowski also plays cello in the string quartet, which accompanies the group. The album presents eight original compositions, five of which were composed by Lenczowski and three by Prasek. The album was recorded at the wonderful Studio Tokarnia with Jan Smoczynski at the console, which of course is immediately audible, as the sound quality is gorgeous.

Although the music is quite diverse stylistically, the overall ambience presiding is that of melodic Jazz-Rock Fusion. The guitar, which stands out as the most effective solo instrument, is sonically very close to the classic early Pat Metheny sound, round and slightly melancholic, but always very effective. Each of the guitar solos on this album is a masterpiece of construction and a perfect example of showmanship by Lenczowski. But his colleagues are not far behind and they all display formidable technique and feel for the music. As usual with young Polish Jazz groups one keeps wondering how it's possible for such young players to sound so mature.

The group displays its Jazz roots by offering a couple of tunes, which are clever tributes to Jazz Giants like John Coltrane and Miles Davis and their overall approach is also Jazzier than most Fusion groups. The individual contributions of all the band members are truly praiseworthy. Overall, although hardly groundbreaking, this is a very solid debut effort, which features excellent original music and first-class performances, which are as good if not better from most similar material released anywhere in the world.

For some strange reason this album slipped under my radar at the time of its release, but it's never too late to acknowledge a worthy effort. Very well done gentlemen!

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