Thursday, December 12, 2013

Switch On Quintet – Our Car Will Never Stop (2010) ****

Maciej Fortuna - trumpet
Marcin Kajper - saxophone
Jakub Kujawa - guitar
Michal Rybka - bass
Bogumil Romanowski - drums

FM 003

By Adam Baruch

This is an excellent debut album by Polish Jazz-Rock Fusion Switch On Quintet which comprises of young musicians making their early stepson the local scene: trumpeter Maciej Fortuna, saxophonist Marcin Kajper, guitarist Jakub Kujawa, bassist Michal Rybka and drummer Bogumil Romanowski. They perform eleven original compositions, four by Romanowski, three by Fortuna, three by Kajper / Kujawa and the remaining one by Kajper. Keyboardist Michal Szlempo guests on selected tracks.

The music is a superb fresh approach to Fusion, which balances the Jazzy sound and feel of the brass with the Rocky sound and feel of the electric guitar, which although reminiscent of the legendary Chicago, is completely up to date and kicks ass like mad. To be perfectly honest I haven't heard such great Fusion in a very long time and this album is real treat. What a pity it remains almost completely obscure. These young Polish cats could teach a thing or two to all those wannabe American Fusion players, who constantly flood the marked with Fusion garbage.

As usual on the Polish scene the level of virtuosity displayed by the musicians is astounding, especially in view of their age. Fortuna's fiery solos soar through the air with incredible intensity, Kujawa's distorted guitar rips the air and its Bluesy undertones break your heart and Kajper's saxophone (especially the soprano) twist and turn like a snake on acid. The rhythm section kicks exactly when and where needed, keeping the ride right on time and your feet tapping uncontrollably.

Honestly this is one of the best Fusion albums I've heard in a long time and an absolute joyous musical ride, highly recommended to all Fusion heads out there. Fortuna, who since recording this album produces already a plethora of superb Jazz and other music, shows here his incredible versatility and I hope he'll return to play his chops in a Fusion environment again. Not to be missed!

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