Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sławek Dudar Quartet - Brand New World (2009)

Although issued 2 years ago, it is an album that wholly deserves to be recalled as it contains passionate, rhythm-driven and very energetic music. The most distinctive voice is of course that of the leader  saxophonist Sławek Dudar who also penned all compositions apart from "Round Midnight" (T. Monk) and "Midland" (B. Childs). Dudar licks are clearly bop influenced by great sax kings of the past John Coltrane, Joe Henderson or now Joshua Redman, Chris Potter. What I like most in Dudar's play is that although acting as front-man and giving to music its identity, he nevertheless leaves enough space for all other instruments not only to resonate with leader's horn but to express their own individual style. Perfect cooperation of members of the band is in jazz best measure of the quality of music.
Second most interesting player is Grzegorz Urban whose creative presence is most strongly felt in excellent interpretation of Billy Child's classic - Urban's style is close to Child's elegant, delicate and graciously swinging play. Perfect tune! His Monk's "Round Midnight" arrangement is strange: it starts with 3 minutes rehearsal of this tune played as if to recall original and then changing totally mood into kind of dance-like version of this standard but very well played, based on some kind of Latin rhythms, perhaps calypso-like, ecstatic, joyful, uncontrollable, stunning contrast to the classic mood of introduction. Very interesting tune indeed!
Apart from those two outstanding personalities other musicians' presence is no less inspiring: Marcin Spera on double bass supplies music with strong groove pulse, his play is impeccable; Łukasz Sobolak plays on drums. Also two guests invited by the quartet are bringing a lot to the music: Maciek Mazur on guitar is excellent, as wells as Natalia Grosiak whose scat in "Brand New World" is yet another time (check "Sova" by Micromusic) when her vocal shines brightly (if little too short for my taste).
All in all, this is straight ahead playing in shamelessly mainstream idiom but in spite of that it gives one rewarding rehearsal after another. 

PS. Polscy czytelnicy na stronie RadiaJazz znajdą wyśmienitą polską recenzję tej płyty pióra Łukasza Nitwińskiego.

Check video with music of this quartet:

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