Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Adam Wendt Acoustic Set – Acoustic Travel (2014)

Adam Wendt Acoustic Set

Adam Wendt - tenor & soprano saxophones
Paweł Zagańczyk - accordion, bandoneon
Jarosław Stokowski - double bass
Tomasz Wendt - tenor saxophone
Grzegorz Nagórski - euphonium
Laura Cubi Villena - vocal

Acoustic Travel

SOLITON 367

By Adam Baruch

This is the sixth album as a leader by veteran Polish Jazz saxophonist/composer Adam Wendt, recorded in an acoustic setting with his trio which features accordionist Paweł Zagańczyk and bassist Jarosław Stokowski. Three guest musicians are heard on a few tracks: vocalist Laura Cubi Villena, saxophonist Tomasz Wendt and euphonium player Grzegorz Nagórski. The album presents twelve tracks, ten of which are originals by Wendt (two of which are repeated in vocal and instrumental versions) and two come from the Jazz-World repertoire, composed one each by Richard Galliano and Astor Piazzolla. Villena wrote the lyrics for the three songs she performs on the album.

The music is a Jazz-World Fusion/Smooth Jazz effort, presenting a set of nice melodic compositions by the leader, all of which have a South American feel about them, mostly associated with the Tango. Wendt has a beautiful saxophone tone but his improvisations are limited within the melodic "safe" zone. It's great to hear the accordion, which is such beautiful and yet so neglected instrument in the Jazz idiom. The bass plays clean and precise backing notes and keeps the trio well together.

Overall this is a pleasant album, which offers no innovation or exploration whatsoever, staying well within the mainstream formula at all times but on the other hand it is very well executed and is very accessible for listeners who are well outside of the strict Jazz milieu.

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