Sunday, September 18, 2016

The Forest Tuner – Tunes (2016)

The Forest Tuner

Szymon Białorucki - trombone, organ, toypiano
Mateusz Sobiechowski - piano, fender rhodes
Adam Tadel - double bass
Piotr Budniak - drums


SJ 015

By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by a young Polish Jazz quartet called The Forest Tuner, led by trombonist Szymon Białorucki, with pianist Mateusz Sobiechowski, bassist Adam Tadel and drummer Piotr Budniak. The album presents nine original compositions, all by the leader, and was recorded at the splendid Tokarnia Studio, with Jan Smoczyński at the knobs, which as usual guarantees an outstanding sound quality.

The music is pretty straightforward, moving between melodic mainstream Jazz and Jazz-Rock Fusion, excellently performed by all participants. The trombone lead, which of course is fairly rare in a quartet setting, creates an obvious disparity between this particular quartet and most others, with is also characterized by the compositions, which have a stylistic relationship and coherence.

Trombone is of course a very challenging instrument, especially when put in front of a Jazz quartet. Białorucki handles this challenge very well, intelligently avoiding showing off a virtuoso approach to the instrument, and putting the emphasis on feel and melody. Sobiechowski plays wonderfully both as an accompanist and as a soloist and his melodic approach fits the overall mood of the album ideally. The rhythm section stands shoulder to shoulder with the two soloists, with Tadel contributing many impressive bass lines and Budniak providing a solid rhythmic anchor.

Overall this is a very promising debut recording, which as usual emphasizes the incredible level of the young Polish Jazz scene, which seems to be blessed with a plentitude of talent and a healthy dose of ambition. Definitely worth investigation!

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