Monday, July 31, 2017

Grzegorz Włodarczyk – Confessions (2015)

Grzegorz Włodarczyk

Enzo Carniel - piano, electric piano
Maxime Berton - tenor saxophone, bass clarinet
Virxilio Da Silva - guitar
Grzegorz Włodarczyk - bass
João Lopes Pereira - drums


UNIT 4626

By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by Polish Jazz bassist/composer Grzegorz Włodarczyk, recorded by an international quintet with saxophonist Maxime Berton, pianist Enzo Carniel, guitarist Virxilio da Silva and drummer Joao Lopes Pereira. The album presents seven original compositions, four composed by Wlodarczyk, two by da Silva and one by Carniel.

The music is typical contemporary European mainstream Jazz, based on melodic themes which serve as vehicles for the improvisations by the quintet members. The melodic/harmonic structures are very solid and coherent, and they emphasize the European Jazz aesthetic, which is somewhat introvert and composition focused, with a tad of melancholy and lyricism. All seven tunes are surprisingly mature and display a level of complexity usually found in works by much more experienced composers.

All members of the quintet turn out to be excellent instrumentalists, who are able to develop intelligent solo spots within the ensemble entity, eschewing senseless personal competition. The leader plays several bass solos throughout the album, showing his abilities as a player in addition to his contributions as composer.

This album is a typical example of work done by ensembles created by students in the Jazz Universities around Europe, in this case students of the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria. The incredible level of achievements by these ensembles is truly astounding in view of the young age of the participants and of course points to the bright future that can be expected from the Jazz idiom in Europe. Overall this is a very impressive debut album, with great tunes and superb performances, which should satisfy Jazz connoisseurs anywhere on this planet. Wholeheartedly recommended!

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