Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Monosies – Stories Of The Gray City (2017)


Łukasz Komala - guitar
Michał Salamon - piano
Zbigniew Szwajdych - trumpet
Krzysztof Augustyn - bass
Mateusz Karoń - drums

Stories Of The Gray City


By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by the Polish Jazz quintet Monosies, led by guitarist/composer Łukasz Komala, which also includes trumpeter Zbigniew Szwajdych, pianist Michał Salamon, bassist Krzysztof Augustyn and drummer Mateusz Karoń. The album presents eight original compositions, all by Komala.

The music is very melodic, well within mainstream Jazz with slight Fusion touches, which are pretty natural when lead guitar is involved. Most of the tunes are pretty slow tempo, melancholic/romantic in nature, but excellently put together. Typically for the young generation of Polish Jazz musicians, the musicians mature with solid compositional abilities, which is apparent on almost all debut albums released on the Polish Jazz scene. All the eight tunes on this album are little gems, which are a pleasure to listen to.

All the members of the quintet are also excellent instrumentalists. Szwajdych plays several superb trumpet solos, which are well suited to the melodic line of the compositions. Salamon plays fluidly and always with the exact dynamics required at each specific moment, Augustyn solidly supports the flow of the music with his bottom line pulsations and Karoń keeps the energy of the music kicking in. Komala produces some very unusual guitar sounds, especially when playing chords, obviously using a plethora of electronic devices. His solos are more Fusion than Jazz oriented, but they are concise, coherent and elegant, and certainly avoid the unnecessary doodling that plagues most contemporary Fusion recordings.

Overall this is an excellent debut album, which is full of great tunes and excellent performances. Guitar fans should have a lot of fun with this, but all melodic Jazz connoisseurs will find this album to be an exciting listening experience. Perhaps not very innovative, but this is definitely a sold, well executed project which presents Komala as a gifted composer and the entire ensemble as an eloquent group of young Jazz lions. Well done indeed!

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