Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Przemyslaw Straczek International Group – White Grain Of Coffee (2014)

Przemysław Strączek

Przemysław Strączek - guitar
Michał Wierba - piano, Fender Rhodes
Radek Nowicki - tenor saxophone
Francesco Angiuli - double bass
Flavio Li Vigni - drums
Karolina Śleziak - vocals

White Grain Of Coffee

ES ART 1406

By Adam Baruch

This is the fifth album by Polish Jazz guitarist/composer Przemysław Strączek, recorded in a quartet setting with pianist Michał Wierba and Italian rhythm section: bassist Francesco Angiuli and drummer Flavio Li Vigni. Vocalist Karolina Śleziak guests on two tracks and saxophonist Radek Nowicki guests on five. The album presents eight original compositions, all by Strączek.

Stylistically the music belongs to a typical lightweight Fusion, which sounds pretty smooth but offers little depth or aesthetic effort, although overall excellently performed by all participants. Sadly the compositions are not able to save the day and they are pretty banal and altogether unremarkable.

It is always a pity to hear a recording by excellent instrumentalists, which sadly amounts to what could be described as a blunder. I am not familiar with Straczek's earlier recordings, but Wierba, who is by all standards an excellent pianist, seems to fall again and again into these situations where his contribution is simply a wasted opportunity. Hopefully he will find his true calling one day.

I suppose some people will enjoy this album, like Smooth Jazz enthusiasts or yuppies wishing to impress their dinner friends, but honestly this does not represent the creative side of Polish Jazz, which can be truly inspiring.

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