Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Inner Spaces Quintet - Inner Spaces (2011)

Jazz Forum (2011)

Stepanka Balcarova (tr)
Lubos Soukup (sax)
Vit Kristan (piano)
Max Mucha (b)
Grzegorz Masłowski (d)

This is interesting disc which is available to subscribers of Jazz Forum magazine which specializes in presenting young and promising mainstream musicians to jazz audience in Poland. All of those young players are still studying, most of them at famous jazz faculty at Katowice Music Academy. The leader of the band is Stepanka Balcarova who is playing on trumpet and composed or co-composed 3 out of six tunes on the album. She is accompanied by Lubos Soukup on tenor & soprano sax (he composed 2 tunes) and Vit Kristan on piano (composed 1 tune). This front people (all coming from Czech Republic) are backed by excellent Polish rhythm section in persons of Max Mucha on double bass and Grzegorz Masłowski on drums who already distinguish themselves on Jarek Bothur Quartet "Lilla Chezquiz" and in numerous other recordings. 
One must admit that this music is coherent, well-played and compositions are far from being trivial. This is definitely very promising debut and I am sure in future we will hear a lot about musicians that were involved in this project. I would like especially to high-lite Stepanka Balcarowa and Lubous Soukoup who composed most of tunes for being able to create such a intriguing and consistent mood on this album plus I want to stress excellent play on piano by Vit Kristan who is strong competitor for another talented pianist studying in Katowice, namely Kuba Płużek, whose play I admire.
All in all, what we got here is piece of decent mainstream jazz, a little bit cool in the mood but the real question is where these young musicians will go now? In her recent interview for Jazz Forum magazine Balcerova said she would like to go more towards free jazz with some electronic component. A good idea, I would say, since with this album she proved that she can play mainstream very well but it would be risky to continue on such a crowded and well-trodden road...

Check this website for samples of music.

Author: Maciej Nowotny 

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