Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Łukasz Juźko Quartet – First Breath (2017)

Łukasz Juźko Quartet

Łukasz Juźko - tenor saxophone
Michał Wróblewski - piano
Bartosz Świątek - bass
Sebastian Kuchczyński - drums

First Breath

SJ 027

By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by Polish saxophonist/composer Łukasz Juźko, recorded in a quartet setting with pianist Michał Wróblewski, bassist Bartosz Świątek and drummer Sebastian Kuchczyński. The album presents nine original compositions, presumably all by the leader, although the album's artwork does not state it. The album is beautifully recorded and the sound quality is truly remarkable.

The music is a highly melodic mainstream Jazz, easy on the ear, romantic and basically belonging to the Smooth Jazz idiom, which of course does not mean, contrary to popular opinion, that the music is not ambitious or well played, far from it. The compositions are all very well structured and coherent harmonically and serve as perfect vehicles for the improvisations created by Juźko and Wróblewski.

All four instrumentalist are excellent, playing as well as can be expected from these well educated and talented young musicians, who already have remarkable achievements behind them. Juźko has a nice tone, and his tenor saxophone performances sound highly professional and inspired. Wróblewski is a superb pianist and his chord structures and solos are simply perfectly suited for this music. The rhythm session also performs brilliantly, with a strong rhythmic signature, which gives the music quite a kick. Overall this is an impressive debut album, which presents Juźko as a mature composer and player, and which shows a lot of potential for his future endeavors. Highly recommended to connoisseurs of melodic Jazz and ageless romantics!

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