Saturday, February 3, 2018

Szymon Nidzworski Project feat. Andrzej Seweryn – Behind Your Eyelids (2017)

Szymon Nidzworski Project feat. Andrzej Seweryn

Szymon Nidzworski - tenor & soprano saxophones
Jan Harasimowicz - trumpet
Olivier Andruszczenko - clarinet & bass clarinet
Patryk Dobosz - drums
Andrzej Seweryn - voice
and others

Behind Your Eyelids


By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album as a leader by Polish saxophonist/composer Szymon Nidzworski, a classically trained musician who also flirted with Jazz as a member of the Magnolia Acoustic Quartet, which recorded a couple of albums for the For Tune label a few years ago. On this album Nidzworski presents fourteen original compositions (one repeated twice) performed by lineups varying from a saxophone/drums duo to a nonet with brass instruments, violin, accordion and drums. On two compositions the famous Polish actor Andrzej Seweryn recites lyrical texts and one of those two compositions is repeated with vocals.

Although obviously very ambitious, the entire project lacks focus and the cross-genre excursions leave the listener baffled. The music is heavily influenced by Classical Music, both conceptually and sonically, but some minor elements of improvisation could be considered as Jazz, the use of the Bilgoray suka hints of Folkloristic influences, the recitation is perhaps a wink towards the Jazz & Poetry idiom, and so on. Overall the music leaves the listened dazed and confused as to the concept and direction of this project, except for a large dose of depression that remains after the haze is dispersed.

There are obviously some nice moments on this album and the musicianship is beyond reproach, but those are not enough to save the project as a whole. Lovers of lethargic Nordic music might find it overall interesting, but for a larger audience it probably will be too much to handle. The album is beautifully designed and packaged, which obviously means that the marketing aspect was carefully thought out in advance.

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