Thursday, July 3, 2014

New Bone – Follow Me (2014)

Tomasz Kudyk - trumpet & flugelhorn
Bartlomiej Prucnal - alto saxophone
Dominik Wania - piano
Maciej Adamczak - double bass
Dawid Fortuna - drums

CM 1023

By Adam Baruch

This is the fourth album by Polish Jazz ensemble New Bone, led by trumpeter Tomasz Kudyk and also including bassist Maciej Adamczak, who has been with the ensemble from day one, excellent young drummer Dawid Fortuna, who played also on their previous album and two new members: saxophonist Bartlomiej Prucnal (Prucnal and Fortuna are also members of the NSI Quartet) and the fabulous pianist Dominik Wania, one of the biggest stars on the polish scene at the moment.

The album presents seven new arrangements of film music written by two Polish (of Jewish origin) and later American composers: Henryk Wars and Bronislaw Kaper. The arrangements are all kept in the middle of the road mainstream Jazz, making sure nobody is offended but also providing very little intellectual or aesthetic reward to the listener. Although pleasant on the ear and sweetly melodic, this music is simply forgotten as soon as it stops playing.

Of course there are some excellent players involved in making this music, so it has its moments. Wania couldn't be boring even if he tried very hard and his contributions are splendid, but by far not enough to save this album from its blunders. Prucnal doesn't get an opportunity to show his chops until the fifth track, by which time I was already yawning. Hiring great musicians to play on an album always presents the problem that their performances stand out even more dramatically. Definitely not my cup of tea…

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