Friday, January 11, 2019

MÓW – Historie Zebrane (2018)


Anna Bratek - voclas
Aga Derlak - piano
Mateusz Szewczyk - bass
Patryk Zakrzewski - drums
Jakub Mizeracki - guitar

Historie Zebrane


By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by Polish ensemble MÓW, which comprises of vocalist / songwriter Anna Bratek, pianist Aga Derlak, bassist Mateusz Szewczyk and drummer Patryk Zakrzewski. Guitarist Jakub Mizeracki guests on three tracks. The album presents eleven original songs, all featuring lyrics (in Polish language) written by Bratek and all but one were composed by Bratek and one co-composed by her. All songs were arranged by the ensemble members. The album was recorded at the Monochrom Studio and was engineered by Ignacy Gruszecki, with the expected excellent sonic result.

The music is a Jazzed-up Alternative Pop, but basically eschews clear genre classification. The focus is naturally on the lead vocals, accompanied by a piano trio, which collectively offers a constant stylistic duality between the vocal parts, which are more Soul/Pop oriented and the instrumental piano trio parts, which are clearly Jazz related. The mixture does work together well and the album is an interesting listening experience. For the Polish speaking audiences, the well crafted and intelligent lyrics offer an additional benefit.

Bartek's vocal delivery is somewhat theatrical, which emphasizes the messages delivered by the lyrics. She is able to express the emotions as well as the melodic/harmonic contents with ease and sincere involvement, and her compositions are exciting and diverse enough to make the music flow swiftly and keep the listener interested all the way through.

The instrumental work is also excellent, which is hardly surprising as Derlak's piano playing already earned her a lot of attention in spite of her young age and short mileage. The rhythm section sticks to the Jazzy formula with great bass lines and inventive drumming moving the music forward. Mizeracki's guitar parts are also admirable and it's a pity he wasn’t featured as a regular member of the band.

Overall this is an excellent debut offering, which will hopefully be followed by new music soon. The two female Artists on this album are a sign of the growing role of the Women Power in Polish Jazz, which is wonderful of course. Kudos to the Slovak Hevhetia label for supporting the Polish music scene since several years, and for offering new opportunities and exposure to creative Artists, which the local Polish record industry is unable to contain. Well done Milady and all the best in the years to come!

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