Thursday, November 9, 2017

Radek Wośko Atlantic Quartet – Atlantic (2016)

Radek Wośko Atlantic Quartet

Gilad Hekselman - guitar
Soren Gemmer - piano
Mariusz Praśniewski - bass
Radek Wośko - drums



By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by Polish Jazz drummer/composer Radek Wośko and his new Atlantic Quartet, which also includes Israeli guitarists Gilad Hekselman, Danish pianist Soren Gemmer and Polish bassist Mariusz Praśniewski. Together they perform eight pieces, seven of which are original compositions by Wośko and one is by the late Polish violinist Zbigniew Seifert.

It seems that Wośko finally found the perfect formula for his music, which is presented here by this quartet, i.e. a melodic Jazz-Rock Fusion, which does full justice to his compositions. Coupled with beautiful execution by all the quartet members, this album guarantees a pleasurable listening experience, without lowering the musical standards.

The album is dominated by the enchanting sound of Hekselman's guitar, with virtuosic phrasing and crystal clear sound bringing on immediately fond memories of early Pat Metheny, but definitely presenting a unique and personal approach. Gemmer offers a wonderfully sensitive accompaniment, but sadly does not play too much solo. The rhythm section moves the music forward amicably, playing exactly what is needed in such environment.

Although Wosko states in the liner notes that this music represents the meeting of European and American influences, as symbolized by it's title, personally I find it to be almost completely dominated by contemporary American Jazz approach, with very little of the European aesthetics left, which of course does not diminish its quality. Overall this is a wonderfully crafted Jazz-Rock Fusion album, perfectly executed by the musicians on board and accessible to a very wide range of music lovers, which hopefully will result in at least some commercial success.

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