Friday, December 9, 2016

Jerzy Małek – Forevelle (2016)

Jerzy Małek

Jerzy Małek - trumpet
Dominik Kisiel - keyboards
Krzysztof Łochowicz - guitars
Andrzej Święs - bass
Sławomir Koryzno - drums
Maciej Kądziela - alto saxophone (3)



By Adam Baruch

This is the seventh album as leader by Polish Jazz trumpeter/composer Jerzy Małek, recorded in a quintet setting with keyboardist Dominik Kisiel, guitarist Krzysztof Łochowicz, bassist Andrzej Święs and drummer Sławomir Koryzno. Saxophonist Maciej Kądziela guests on one track. Together they perform seven original compositions, all by Małek.

The music is typical melodic mainstream Jazz, full of distinctive Polish Jazz characteristics, like melancholic ballads, Slavic folkloristic harmonies and the overall atmosphere of poignancy, even on the up-tempo numbers. All the seven originals are solid compositions, elegant, well structured and aesthetically pleasing, especially so the ballads, which seem to be Małek's forte.

The execution is also top notch, with evident class and talent displayed by the musicians involved. Małek is an excellent trumpeter, with steady clear tone and brilliant phrasing, and his playing is a great example of the classic approach to Jazz trumpet, which is sadly not very appreciated these days. Kisiel plays beautiful piano lines both on the acoustic and electric instruments, contributing several nice solos and supporting the leader amicably. Łochowicz is a mystery as I could only hear him on one tune and there he was so back in the mix that he was totally lost. Święs, a veteran and brilliant bassist, is one of the top Polish players and every recording featuring his talents is already ahead just by his presence. Koryzno plays also very well, supporting the steady rhythmic patterns with confidence and skill, staying respectfully in the background.

Overall this is a classic mainstream album, which features superb tunes and excellent execution, which should make every Jazz connoisseur in the world happy. There is no innovation or groundbreaking here, but not every Jazz album has to be about these elements. Playing solid, excellent mainstream Jazz like the one here is still Art.

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