Monday, December 18, 2017

Cezariusz Gadzina – Mosty (2017)

Cezariusz Gadzina

Cezariusz Gadzina - alto & soprano saxophones
Robert Majewski - trumpet, flugelhorn
Maciej Sikała - tenor saxophone
Grzegorz Nagórski - trombone, euphonium
Cezary Paciorek - accordion
Paweł Pańta - double bass

Piotr Iwicki - percussion
Cezary Konrad - drums



By Adam Baruch

This is an album by Polish (resident in Belgium) saxophonist/composer Cezariusz Gadzina, recorded with a host of top Polish Jazz musicians, which includes trumpeter Robert Majewski, saxophonist Maciej Sikała, trombonist Grzegorz Nagórski, accordionist Cezary Paciorek, bassist Paweł Pańta, percussionist Piotr Iwicki and drummer Cezary Konrad – a dream team by all respects. The album presents eight original compositions, all by Gadzina, all entitled "Bridge" in eight different languages ("Mosty" means bridges in Polish), symbolizing the connections between a plethora of genres and sub-genres present within the contemporary Jazz idiom.

Gadzina is primarily familiar for his work in the Jazz-Classical Fusion field and his previous recordings, including the excellent "The Fifth Element", testify to his affinity to this particular field. However, this recording seems to leave Classical Music out of the formula, concentrating on the Jazz side of Gadzina's personality.

Stylistically the music sits well within the boundaries of modern mainstream Jazz language, offering excellent compositions and interesting arrangements, none of which are trivial or banal. The music is full of unexpected twists and turns, tempo changes and multiple themes, all within one composition, which of course makes listening to this music a real fun for true Jazz fans. The compositions are diverse enough to keep the listener interested and balance well between the beautifully melodic ballads and the up-tempo numbers.

The individual performances are all top notch, as expected from these highly experienced musicians. Personally I love the prominent presence of the accordion, a much neglected instrument in Jazz, and the percussion ornamentations, which add another layer of rhythmic contents. But of course the trumpet solo parts, excellent saxophone work, pulsating bass lines and everything else are just right. The overall octet sound is not to busy and allows all instruments to be perfectly audible.

Overall this is a great mainstream album, much more ambitious and advanced musically than the standard albums recorded in this genre. It is not about discovering any new territory, but offers novel approach to arrangement and very solid composition and performance standards. As such it deserves to be listened to and surely enjoyed as well.

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