Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Robert Szewczuga Trio – Moonrise (2018)

Robert Szewczuga Trio

Robert Szewczuga - bass
Michał Rorat - keyboards
Paweł Dobrowolski - drums



By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album as a leader by young Polish bassist Robert Szewczuga, recorded in a trio setting with keyboardist Michał Rorat and drummer Paweł Dobrowolski. Several guest musicians are featured on selected tracks. The album presents ten original compositions, presumably all by Szewczuga, although that is not mentioned on the album's artwork.

The music is all within the Fusion/Funk/Groove framework, based on solid melodies, which serve as vehicles for the lengthy improvisations, mostly by the leader. The relaxed atmosphere and beautiful sound quality add to the overall effect, creating an album that is a real pleasure to listen to from start to finish.

Szewczuga makes sure that his electric bass playing remains the focal point of this recording, playing with virtuosity and vigor that bring fond memories of Jaco Pastorius' work. Both Rorat and Dobrowolski stand shoulder to shoulder with the leader and support him exactly as appropriate within this environment, emphasizing the Funk and Groove elements. The track featuring Apostolis Anthimos on guitar is a classic Fusion tune and a great example of what can still be achieved in that idiom today. The track featuring the vocalist Ghostman is a wonderful reminder of his quality and a longing for more of his recorded work.

Overall this is an excellent album, which is fun to listen to and proudly represents the role of electric bass in contemporary music, which sadly is often overlooked. Szewczuga's exquisite sensitivity, which is well demonstrated by his work as a sideman, is even more prominent herein. For electric bassists and fans of the instrument this is an absolute must, an orgy of talent and virtuosity. Wholeheartedly recommended!

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