Saturday, October 15, 2016

Jacek Pelc Band – On The Road (2016)

Jacek Pelc Band

Maciej Sikała - tenor & soprano saxophones
Bartosz Hadała - piano, keyboards
Maurizio Rolli - bass guitar
Jacek Pelc - drums

On The Road


By Adam Baruch

This is a wonderful live album by Polish Jazz/Fusion drummer/composer/bandleader Jacek Pelc, recorded in a quartet setting with saxophonist Maciej Sikała, keyboardist Bartosz Hadała (resident in Canada) and Italian bassist Maurizio Rolli. The album presents seven tracks, six of which are original compositions by Pelc and one is an arrangement of a famous Pop song by the group Skaldowie, dedicated to the memory of the great Polish guitarist/composer Jarosław Śmietana, with whom Pelc played for many years.

The music is a mixture of mainstream Jazz and Funk/Groove, with excellent melody lines and superb rhythmic approach. As such it is easily accessible to a wide range of Jazz and Fusion listeners, who enjoy sophisticated individual contributions by the band members, which are the highlight of this album.

All four instrumentalists really play their hearts out, each contributing several outstanding solos and the quartet performs like a well oiled reliable mechanism, which never fails. Rolli is the great surprise on this album, as his virtuosic performances are simply breathtaking both when he plays his wonderfully structured solos and when he amicably accompanies his fellow band members. His electric bass performances are among the finest one can find anywhere on record in recent years. Pelc also does a great job behind the drums, playing very intensively but at the same time not overriding the other band members. He is one of the most melodic/musical drummers on the Polish Jazz scene, something I recently had an opportunity to witness in person.

Overall this is an honest, extremely well played Jazz/Funk album, which is a great fun to listen to, and which will hopefully reach many fans of the genre around the world, as it truly deserves. It proves that the veteran Polish Jazz scene is still alive and kicking, contrary to the general media trend, which often tends to overlook or plainly forget these wonderful musicians. Funs of virtuosic electric bass playing and students of the instrument simply must grab a copy of this album to realize what this instrument can do in the right hands. Well done!

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