Saturday, September 19, 2015

Paweł Wszołek – Choice (2015)

Paweł Wszołek

Łukasz Kokoszko - guitar
Sebastian Zawadzki - piano
Paweł Wszołek - double bass
Szymon Madej - drums



By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by young Polish Jazz bassist Paweł Wszołek recorded with his quartet with also includes guitarist Łukasz Kokoszko, pianist Sebastian Zawadzki and drummer Szymon Madej. The album presents nine original compositions, all by Wszołek and was released on the Spanish Fresh Sound label as part of the prestigious New Talent series.

The music is all within the melodic modern mainstream boundaries, solid and well crafted, but not particularly ambitious. It is, however, excellently executed, especially due to the superb piano parts by Zawadzki and sensitive drumming my Madej, who have both already appeared with great success on other Polish Jazz recordings in the last few years. Wszołek also plays well, handling the bass solos with self confidence and playing alongside his cohorts amicably. Of course, although he is the quartet's leader, playing a bass solo on every track of the album is a bit excessive. The guitar, however, I find a bit overbearing, as it is loud in the mix and its sound is slightly harsh (too much echo?), not fitting ideally to the acoustic piano trio setting of the rest of the band. Stylistically the round guitar sounds are definitely way too related to Pat Metheny for my taste.

Nevertheless this is still a very strong debut effort, which should satisfy most mainstream Jazz fans and serve as a sold proof of the talents of these young musicians, who are after all at the very early stages of their career. I look forward to hear more of Wszołek's music in the future, after he matures a bit and gains the experience so much needed when playing Jazz.

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