Monday, December 2, 2013

Aga Zaryan - Remembering Nina & Abbey (2013) ***

Aga Zaryan - vocal

Geri Allen -piano
Brian Blade - drums
Larry Koonse - guitars
Darek Oleszkiewicz - double bass
Carol Robbins - harp

Remembering Nina & Abbey (2013)

By Maciej Nowotny

Aga Zaryan, together with Maria Anna Jopek, enjoys in Poland the status of local diva. What distinguish her from the flock of equally talented female vocalists in our country is apart from good voice, a very carefully chosen repertoire and fantastic musicians who usually accompany her. Her newest album is not exception to these rules because picking up tunes written and/or performed by such jazz singing goddesses like Nina Simone and Abbey Lincoln will surely attract a lot of attention as much from jazz as pop music audiences. Moreover names of her collaborators on this album among whom we find such excellent musicians like Geri Allen on piano, Brian Blade on drums, Larry Koonse on guitars, Darek Oleszkiewicz on double and Carol Robbins on harp guarantee that apart from seducing singing the instrumental part of the tracks will be of the stellar quality. And it really is! I am sure that this CD will appeal a lot especially to Polish audience. From purely artistic point of view however it is rather a step back for Aga as the music on this album brings nothing new or surprising to what we already knew about her as the vocalist. In fact if someone know well both Nina Simone and Abbey Lincoln performances then he or she may find Zaryan's interpretations rather pale and shy of contesting what we know so well from history. Therefore as far as I am concerned I still wait for more personal and adventurous material from Zaryan, perhaps bringing her back to Polish songs through interpretation of which, in the past on her fabulous album "Umiera Piękno", she once won my heart over to her singing...

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