Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Michał Kulenty – Dusza W Uszach (2016)

Michał Kulenty

Michał Kulenty - tenor & soprano saxophones
Krzysztof Herdzin - piano, keyboards, percussion
Robert Kubiszyn - bass
Cezary Konrad - drums

Dusza W Uszach


By Adam Baruch

This is an album by veteran Polish Jazz saxophonist/composer Michał Kulenty, recorded in a classic quartet setting with pianist Krzysztof Herdzin, bassist Robert Kubiszyn and drummer Cezary Konrad and accompanied by the Polish Radio Orchestra conducted by Herdzin. The album presents twelve original compositions, all by Kulenty and all arranged by Herdzin. The album was recorded four years prior to its release.

The music is all very melodic and well structured, only marginally belonging to the Jazz idiom, being much closer to Popular and light Classical music, especially in view of Herdzin's elaborate, but sugary arrangements. Although Kulenty improvisations are at the centre of the listeners attention, they are somewhat watered down by the orchestral accompaniment with an overall Smooth Jazz ambience. Kulenty's wonderful tone and phrasing, which awarded him the nickname of "saxophone poet" due to his superb feeling and lyricism, are indeed pure delight.

The album offers many wonderfully lyrical moments, appropriate especially for the less strictly Jazz oriented audiences, and is highly professionally executed and recorded, which overall produces a very pleasant listening experience. Tragically the release of this album almost coincided with Kulenty's premature death in January 2017, which was a great loss to the local Jazz scene.

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