Friday, May 2, 2014

Bartosz Pernal/Michal Szkil Quintet – Jazz Getxo (2014)

Bartosz Pernal - trombone
Maurycy Wojcinski - trumpet
Michak Szkil - piano
Michal Kapczuk - bass
Grzegorz Maslowski - drums

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By Adam Baruch

Like several other young Polish Jazz ensembles before them, the quintet co-led by trombonist Bartosz Pernal and pianist Michal Szkil won the international Jazz Festival Competition at Getxo, Spain, and as a result their concert was released by a local record label, which is also their debut album. In addition to Pernal and Szkil the quintet also includes trumpeter Maurycy Wojcinski, bassist Michal Kapczuk and drummer Grzegorz Maslowski. The live recording presents five tunes, three of which are original compositions by Pernal, one is a John Coltrane composition and the remaining one is a Kenny Wheeler piece.

As usual in such cases it is quite amazing to witness the level of musicianship and skill presented by these young musicians. Obviously well schooled and full of individual talent they create energetic and highly sophisticated modern mainstream. The original compositions are all top notch and their treatment of the standards is unusual and very sensitive. Of course the live recording reveals also minor glitches committed in the heat of the process, but those are completely insignificant in the overall view of things. The quintet has a somewhat unusual sound with the trombone / trumpet front, which adds to its attraction.

As far as the individual performances are concerned, the two co-leaders present the highest level of technical skill and inventiveness. Szkil is particularly worth following as his piano magic will surely find a large following sooner or later. The trumpeter is full of bravado and imagination, but he keeps missing a note here and there, which is noticeable. The rhythm section is excellent and adds a significant layer to the overall sound and presentation.

Overall here comes another group of young Polish Jazz lions, which will create the next generation of the local Jazz scene in the years to come. Considering how great they are already, the future definitely looks bright!

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