Karolina Kowalczewska - piano, composer
By Adam Baruch
This is the debut album by Polish Jazz pianist/composer Karolina Kowalczewska, recorded with a core trio consisting of bassist Maurizio Rolli and drummer Józef Eliasz, which is joined on various tracks by saxophonists Mariusz Mielcarek, Adam Wendt and Michal Kobojek, a couple of vocalists, a violinist, a choir and even a symphonic orchestra (sampled mind you) arranged by Leszek Kulakowski on the opening track. The album presents eight original compositions, all by Kowalczewska, with one of them being repeated twice as the opening and closing track.
Kowalczewska is clearly flirting with both the Classical and Jazz idioms, a perilous game, which is rarely very successful. The music ranges from forms like a concerto for orchestra and sax, via a choir psalm and saxophone trio (with a lot of almost free blowing) which slowly degrades to a bluesy ballad in which the trio supports a lengthy saxophone solo, a series of mainstream quartet pieces, three vocal tracks and a sax quartet to round things up: altogether an unimpressive hodgepodge of musical ditties lacking any coherence or sense of direction. Yes there are some nice melodic themes and nice sax solos but in all honesty there is nothing here which deserves special attention or something that wasn't played endless times before at best and at it's worst moments this albums sounds like a junior high school band, completely amateurish.
I am truly sorry but this stuff is really embarrassing and releasing this material for the world to hear is a major misjudgment of quality, which should be avoided at all cost.