Sunday, August 16, 2015

Piotr Wyleżoł – Improludes (2014)

Piotr Wyleżoł

Piotr Wyleżoł - piano



By Adam Baruch

This is the first piano solo album by Polish Jazz pianist/composer Piotr Wyleżoł and his sixth release as a leader/co-leader. It comes after a relatively prolonged period of silence (about five years) since his last recording. The album presents eight original compositions by Wylezol partly inspired by the work of the great Hungarian composer Franz Liszt, especially Liszt's etudes, hence the tongue in cheek album's title. The album was released by the Slovak Hevhetia label, which seems to be lately one of the favorite labels of the Polish Jazz artists, which is hardly surprising considering the great job the label is doing so far.

The association with Liszt's romanticism is hardly accidental, as Wyleżoł's music displays clear Classical Music influences. Combined with the Polish lyricism and a wonderful sense of melody, these pieces are a delightful set of melodic gems, which are easy on the ear but at the same time invoke deep emotions and a charming aptitude. Solo piano lovers will find here everything one might expect from a solo piano album – excellent music, beautiful and sensitive execution and a superb recording quality, which is always an essential ingredient of such projects.

Overall this music is not very innovative or groundbreaking, but its merits are clearly on quite a different musical layer, aesthetically close to the European Classical Music tradition, updated and transposed to contemporary language. Therefore this album should not be judged nor should it be approach from a strict Jazz point of reference, but should be allowed the leeway of a more open minded attitude towards its true artistic significance and impact.

One might speculate if this album marks a turning point in Wyleżoł's career, especially as a composer, leading to a whole new path combining his classical training and Jazz improvisation, or is this just a one time journey of discovery? Regardless of the answer, let's hope we won't have to wait for another five years to hear the answer to this question. Welcome back!

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