Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Schmidt Electric – Live (2017)

Schmidt Electric

Piotr Schmidt - trumpet, effects
Alex Hutchings - guitar, effects
Tomasz Bura - piano, synth
Mr Krime - scratching, electronics
Joanna Szymala - electronics
Bartek Pieszka - vibes
Michał Kapczuk - bass, moog
Sebastain Kuchczyński - drums


SJ 020

By Adam Baruch

This is the third album by the Schmidt Electric ensemble, led by trumpeter Piotr Schmidt and also including keyboardist Tomasz Bura, bassist Michał Kapczuk, drummer Sebastian Kuchczyński and British guitarist Alex Hutchings. The core quintet was expanded for this live recording by DJ Wojciech Długosz (a.k.a. Mr. Krime), electronics wizard Joanna Szymala and vibraphonist Bartek Pieszka. The ensemble performs six original compositions, four composed by Schmidt and two by Bura, a short solo trumpet intro by Schmidt and another intro by Szymala, altogether eight tracks. Yours truly was present during the live recording in Katowice, one of the two venues where these live recordings were captured, and therefore a part of my soul is also captured on this album, like every other person who was ever present in the audience during a live recording.

The music is a natural extension to what the released earlier studio debut album offered, i.e. an excellent melodic version of modern Fusion, which flows smoothly from one tune to another, but preserves class and elegance and above all is great fun to listen to. The live ambience allows the musicians to take extended solo parts and show their chops, which they all do to the max. The music is diverse and offers many moods, which of course contributes significantly to the fact that the album keeps the listener on his toes for the entire duration.

It is great to see Schmidt to finally settling down within a domain, which suits him the best in my opinion. This music allows him to express his superb compositional talents and lead a highly professional ensemble, which can make him proud as a leader. His trumpet playing also reaches a refined stage of expressiveness and eloquence, especially effective on the slow tempo ballads, which are absolute goose bumps generators.

The use of turntablism and electronics adds an up to date flavor to the music, without overshadowing the main melodic, harmonic and rhythmic coherence and the strong Jazzy groove. Schmidt manages to create music which can be enjoyed by a wide age range of listeners, which of course is commendable. Overall a great contemporary Fusion album, full of great melodies, fine arrangements, excellent performances and above all great fun! Wholeheartedly recommended!

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