Friday, December 21, 2018

Dawid Kostka Trio+ – Progression (2018)

Dawid Kostka Trio+

Dawid Kostka - guitars
Damian Kostka - double bass
Mateusz Brzostowski - drums
Maciej Kociński - saxophones
Paweł Kaczmarczyk - piano


SJ 036

By Adam Baruch

This is the second album by Polish Jazz guitarist/composer Dawid Kostka, recorded in a trio setting with bassist Damian Kostka and drummer Mateusz Brzostowski, with two top Polish Jazz musicians as guests: saxophonist Maciej Kociński and pianist Paweł Kaczmarczyk. The album presents nine original compositions, all by Dawid Kostka. The music was recorded at the Monochrom Studio and engineered by Ignacy Gruszecki and offers a spectacular sound quality, precision and clarity; a heaven for Hi-Fi enthusiasts.

The music is a superb collection of stylistically diverse compositions, all melody based but offering a wide spectrum of moods, feelings and tempi, clearly pointing out Kostka's compositional abilities. Stylistically Kostka seems to feel equally at ease with post-Bebop, Fusion and Modern European Jazz and listening to the album is a true joy ride through contemporary Jazz.

The performances are also nothing short of stellar. The two guest musicians require no introduction to Polish Jazz cognoscenti and their performances here are as good as one might expect, far beyond just a guest appearance, involving a full integration within the quintet sound. Kociński, who sadly slightly dropped off the horizon lately, delivers some heartfelt soli that are wonderful reminders of his heydays with Soundcheck and Kaczmarczyk never disappoints with his fluidity and musicality.

The rhythm section is perfectly integrated with the soloists and offers a versatile and interesting technical competence, with solid and clear bass lines that hold the music together and support the harmony and creative drumming pulsations which are both precise and imaginative.

But of course Dawid Kostka is the true hero of this album, playing outstanding guitar parts throughout, changing his sound and attack often and presenting a portrait of a mature Artist, who knows exactly where he want to go with his music. His guitar artistry and obvious virtuosity are the absolute highlight of this album, which is definitely the best Polish Jazz guitar offering for 2018.

Overall this is the true debut album fully deserving to feature Dawid Kostka's name on it, with the debut recorded a couple of years earlier being just a forgettable incident, which was just a teaser of his true abilities (as mentioned in my review of that album). This is definitely a major achievement and places Kostka in the forepost of the Polish Jazz guitar players, which is rather small considering the size and the vitality of the scene today. Wonderful from start to finish, this album is a true delight and a must for Polish/European Jazz connoisseurs!

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