Monday, October 22, 2018

Lora Szafran/Bogdan Hołownia – Wars Szpilman Wasowski. I Tak Się Trudno Rozstać… (2018)

Lora Szafran/Bogdan Hołownia

Lora Szafran - vocals
Bogdan Hołownia - piano
Robert Murakowski - trumpet
Paweł Pańta - bass
Sebastian Frankiewicz - drums

Wars Szpilman Wasowski. I Tak Się Trudno Rozstać…


By Adam Baruch

This is a live recording by Polish Jazz vocalist Lora Szafran accompanied by a quartet led by pianist Bogdan Hołownia, which also includes trumpeter Robert Murakowski, bassist Paweł Pańta and drummer Sebastian Frankiewicz. The album presents twelve Polish evergreens (often called Polish standards), composed by three renowned Polish composers: Henryk Wars, Wladyslaw Szpilman and Jerzy Wasowski and featuring lyrics by celebrated Polish poets and lyricists.

The music holds no surprises to the Polish listeners, as these are songs that the older generation is very much familiar with and which have been around for many years being clearly an integral part of the Polish Cultural heritage. Of course, as such, they have all been performed and recorded many times before and as a result this album offers nothing new in this respect.

Szafran and the instrumentalist are all veteran performers and professionals, so this material offers no challenge whatsoever, especially in view of the fact that it was meant as entertainment and a nostalgic revisit of this material, rather than a Jazz event. Of course the performance was first class from start to finish. Overall this is a nice tribute to beautiful Polish songs, which offer wonderful music and intelligent, sensitive lyrics, and as such is sadly a symbol of how the values of popular music changed over time from artistry to trash.

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