Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Wojtek Mazolewski Quintet – Smells Like Tape Spirit (2011)

Wojtek Mazolewski Quintet

Oscar Torok – trumpet
Marek Pospieszalski - sax
Joanna Duda - piano
Michal Bryndal - drums
Wojtek Mazolewski - bass

Smells Like Tape Spirit (2011)

This is the debut album by a Polish Jazz quintet led by bassist / composer Wojtek Mazolewski, who is a well known figure on the local scene way beyond the Jazz circles, mostly as a member of several Rock groups and later a founding member of the top Polish group Pink Freud. Obviously, this album presents an attempt to create a “serious” Jazz album in the splendid tradition of the Polish Jazz heritage, which in fact is by and large quite successful. Carefully composed, arranged and beautifully played, the album is mostly melancholic and lyrical, very melodic and full of internal tension, which is extremely effective. The quintet includes Slovak trumpeter Oscar Torok, saxophonist Marek Pospieszalski, pianist Joanna Duda and drummer Michal Bryndal, all excellent and very sensitive players. 

The music was mostly composed or co-composed by Mazolewski, with one track credited to the entire ensemble and two tracks composed by the pianist. In his liner-notes Mazolewski makes clear how he longed to return to the double bass and play Jazz again (he mostly plays electric bass) and explains how this music was influenced by the arrival of his first-born son. He also credits his partners in the quintet for contributing to the final result, and so he should, as it definitely is a group effort. Overall it is a beautiful album, which gives the listener a truly satisfactory listening experience, at least until the last (bonus?) track of the album, which states the obvious: “White men can’t jump and they can’t play reggae either”. Highly recommended!

Track listing: 
1. Newcomer
2. Planeta guzików
3. Kaczeńce
4. Populacja sikorek
5. Smells Like Tape Spirit
6. Pożycz stówę
7. Księżniczka nr 9 i 10
8. Oberek
9. Jedynak

Author: Adam Baruch

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