Sunday, June 7, 2020

Chojnacki/Miguła - Contemplations (2020)


Jan Chojnacki - trumpet
Filip Miguła - piano
Bartłomiej Chojnacki - bass
Dawid Opaliński - drums
Adam Bławicki - tenor saxophone
Jan Kantner - alto saxophone
Bartłomiej Pająk - percussion



By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by young Polish Jazz quartet co-led by trumpeter Jan Chojnacki and pianist Filip Miguła, which also includes bassist Bartłomiej Chojnacki and drummer Dawid Opaliński. Saxophonists Jan Kantner and Adam Bławicki guest on two tracks and percussionist Bartłomiej Pająk guests on one track. The album presents eight original compositions, one by Chojnacki and the rest by Miguła.

The music is melodic mainstream Jazz with some World Music influences on part of the tracks. All the compositions are well structured and offer solid melodies and coherent harmonic development and the arrangements, albeit a bit predictable, do justice to the music. The quartet sounds best when performing the beautiful ballads, which are about half of the material, offering typical Polish Jazz melancholy and lyricism, but the up tempo numbers are somewhat less spectacular.

The performances are also perfectly executed, as everything done by the well schooled and trained young Polish Jazz generation. Jan Chojnacki offers a wonderful and perfectly clear tone, usually associated with Classical players. Miguła plays with confidence and obvious skill. Bartłomiej Chojnacki adds solid bottom and is always precise and well rounded. Opaliński is creative and delicate, adding exactly what the music needs at all times.

Overall this is a very impressive debut, which offers good music and elegant playing, altogether showing a promising potential. The album is a bit too conventional for my taste, but that's just my personal taste. Mainstream Jazz fans should have great fun with this outing and hopefully future recording will be a tad more adventurous. Well done!

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