Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Karolina Kowalczewska – Chiara (2014)

Karolina Kowalczewska

Karolina Kowalczewska - piano, composer

with others



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.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Sir,
    this article sounds rather like an unfounded hateful comment than a valuable review. "Chiara" has received numerous positive references and if you do not find anything worth appreciating, then I feel trully sorry for your insensitivity. Everyone owns the right to have their opinion, however the truth is, that some really exquisite artists have connected their visions to create this music and calling it "embarrasing" or "amateurish" is the first missjudgement, made by you. All of the concerts, where this material has been performed were highly successfull and there is no need for such a harsh comment from you, because if the music has made one single heart move, it was worth making, and honestly, these pieces have moved many more hearts. It's a shame to see an experienced critic dissing artists this way, but if throwing shade at people is what you do for living, than I can only feel sorry for you. Please, be aware of the fact, that this is just your personal opinion, until now, the only negative one, that I have seen. Next time, please try to keep it a lot more classy and let others enjoy, even if you personally don't.
    Best regards,
    Chiara & Friends


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