Monday, November 17, 2014

Bartosz Dworak Quartet – Live At Radio Katowice (2014)

Bartosz Dworak Quartet

Bartosz Dworak - violin
Piotr Matusik - piano
Jakub Dworak - bass
Szymon Madej - drums

Live At Radio Katowice

PRK 0130

By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by young Polish Jazz violinist Bartosz Dworak recorded live with his quartet which also includes pianist Piotr Matusik, bassist Jakub Dworak and drummer Szymon Madej. They perform six compositions, two of which are original compositions by Bartosz Dworak, one is by Piotr Matusik, two are by Polish Jazz composers Slawomir Kulpowicz and Zbigniew Seifert and the remaining one is by Joey Calderazzo.

Bartosz Dworak is the winner of the 1st International Zbigniew Seifert Jazz Violin Competition, which took place in Poland in 2014 and is considered as one of the top young Polish Jazz violinists who continue the glorious legacy of Jazz violin in Poland established by such luminaries as Michal Urbaniak, Zbigniew Seifert, Krzesimir Debski, Adam Baldych and others.

From the very first notes of this record it is pretty obvious that Dworak is a Polish violinist, as he has the same unmistakable "Polish sound" that characterizes his predecessors and other contemporary Jazz violinist in the country. In his case this specific sound, which floats somewhere between Slavic folksy fiddle and virtuosic lyricism is clearly identifiable. And of course there is the individualism and the virtuosity, which are obviously in their early stages but already clearly noticeable.

From the strength of the two original compositions it is immediately apparent that Dworak should concentrate on playing his own material. His interpretations of the compositions by other musicians are less impressive, except that of his band mate Piotr Matusik. The entire quartet plays smoothly and dynamically, with the rhythm section supporting the two soloists with taste and elegance. Matusik is one hell of a player and steals a significant part of the show in his favor, deserving every bit of it. I'm waiting anxiously to hear his first solo album.

Considering that this is a debut recording one can simply envy these young musicians their talents and obvious musicality. Hopefully Dworak will develop his skills as a composer and engage in more ambitious / challenging adventures when his career takes off, which will inevitably happen. In the meantime this is definitely a most impressive calling card.

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