Saturday, October 29, 2016

Kamil Piotrowicz Sextet - Popular Music (2016)

Kamil Piotrowicz Sextet

Kamil Piotrowicz - piano
Piotr Chęcki - tenor saxophone
Kuba Więcek - alto & soprano saxophones
Emil Miszk - trumpet
Andrzej Święs - double bass
Krzysztof Szmańda - drums, vibraphone

Popular Music


By Adam Baruch

This is the second album by young Polish Jazz pianist/composer Kamil Piotrowicz, this time recorded in a sextet setting with trumpeter Emil Miszk, saxophonists Kuba Więcek and Piotr Chęcki, bassist Andrzej Święs and drummer Krzysztof Szmańda. The album presents nine original compositions, all by Piotrowicz.

The music is a superb collection of modern Jazz compositions, brilliantly arranged for the sextet, using all the power and interplay possibilities of the relatively large ensemble. The compositions are diverse and quite complex, changing styles and tempi rapidly and displaying an incredible maturity relative to the age of the composer. In spite of the complexity and multilayered structure the compositions are completely coherent and deeply moving emotionally. Stylistically the music moves between contemporary Classical oriented pieces and large ensemble compositions, firmly based on the tradition developed in the late 1950s and 1960s by such Jazz mavericks like George Russell and Charles Mingus. Adorned with typical European harmonies this music reaches peaks rarely heard before.

The level of execution of this difficult music is also exceptional. All the participants play amazing solo parts and cooperate brilliantly in the ensemble parts, with the rhythm section firmly holding the intricate musical construction in place. Nothing is taken for granted here and these wonderful musicians keep surprising the listener again and again, with a bag of virtuosic tricks that never ceases to amaze. Most of the individual statements are concise and perfectly suited to the musical setting at the moment of their execution,

This album is a giant step forward for Piotrowicz and although his debut album, released a year earlier, showed a lot of potential, nothing prepared the listeners for this masterpiece following up so soon. This is definitely one of the best Polish Jazz albums released in 2016 and a very strong contender for the top of the heap. If Piotrowicz is able to create music of such profound impact today, what will happen next? This is an absolute must for all Polish Jazz connoisseurs around the world and an exquisite example of the fact that Jazz is alive and kicking and progressing and exciting and intensely beautiful! Hats off!

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