Thursday, June 25, 2015

Ola Trzaska – All Around (2014)

Ola Trzaska

Ola Trzaska - vocals, flute
Łukasz Korybalski - trumpet
Michał Tomaszczyk - trombone
Marcin Piekos - keyboards
Andrzej Święs - bass
Sebastian Kuchczyński - drums

All Around

SJ 009

By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by Polish vocalist/flautist/ songwriter Ola Trzaska, recorded by a sextet which also includes trumpeter Łukasz Korybalski, trombonist Michał Tomaszczyk, keyboardist Marcin Piekos, bassist Andrzej Święs and drummer Sebastian Kuchczyński. The album presents eight songs, all original by Trzaska (music and lyrics), six of which feature English and two Polish lyrics.

The music is a nice mixture of Pop/Soul/Funk & Groove, based on Trzaska's melodic themes jazzed up by the arrangements and instrumental work, especially that of the brass section. Not a Jazz album per se, but close enough for comfort to turn the ear of a Jazz fan as well as those who have almost nothing to do with it.

Usually I completely condemn Polish singers singing in English, but in this case the result is acceptable, thanks to Trzaska's phrasing and a skillful mix which keeps the vocals usually in unisono with instrumental backing, which mute the language "imperfections".

Trzaska has a limited vocal range and wisely utilizes her voice safely within her comfort zone, which of course becomes somewhat inadequate in the long range, making all the songs to sound a bit alike. But her singing is expressive and full of emotion, which overall saves the day. Combined with the truly inspired instrumental work by the players, the album is a fun to listen to. Swies deserves a special mention since his bass notes drive the entire album with an incredible funky groove. Tomaszczyk also plays a few beautiful trombone solos on the album, which are little gems.

This is definitely an impressive debut, presenting Trzaska as a gifted songwriter, vocalist and arranger, who will surely take part in the development of the Polish music scene in the years to come.

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