Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Leszek Kulakowski Quartet feat. Eddie Henderson – Cantabile In G-Minor (2011)

Leszek Kułakowski Quartet

Eddie Henderson - trumpet
Leszek Kułakowski - piano
Piotr Kułakowski - double bass
Jacek Pelc - drums

Cantabile In G-Minor

MULTIKULTI IMJ 004



By Adam Baruch

This is an album by Polish Jazz pianist/composer Leszek Kulakowski, recorded in a quartet setting with celebrated American trumpeter Eddie Henderson, bassist Piotr Kułakowski and veteran drummer Jacek Pelc. The album comprises of ten original compositions, all by Kułakowski. The music was recorded in 2006, but released only in 2011.

The music is set well within the mainstream Jazz boundaries, with clear melodic themes and pretty straightforward improvisations, all very well performed by the quartet members, but hardly innovative or challenging. Kułakowski is a very skilled weaver of melodies, and his slow melancholic themes are usually more moving than the mid to up-tempo numbers.

All the players are of course very experienced performers and the overall level of personal output is excellent. Piotr Kulakowski plays some beautiful bass riffs and holds the quartet together and Pelc is always doing what is expected of him in every situation. Leszek Kułakowski is a charmer, as usual, and his delicate piano chords and solo parts are heartwarming. Henderson, after playing Funk and Jazz-Rock Fusion for many years, is back as a post Bop player, doing a splendid job both on trumpet and Flugelhorn. However, in comparison to many Polish Jazz trumpeters, who appeared on the scene in recent years, his performances quite honestly a bit pale as to what one might expect.

All in all this is a fine mainstream album, which many Jazz fans should be able to enjoy and one that is definitely worth discovering. Perhaps not the strongest statement by Kułakowski to date, but this is definitely a valuable component of his splendid legacy so far.

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