Sunday, September 16, 2018

Dorota Miśkiewicz – (2016)

Dorota Miśkiewicz

Dorota Miśkiewicz - vocals
12 pianists
Atom String Quartet


By Adam Baruch

This is a live recording of a gigantically ambitious project conceived by Polish Jazz vocalist Dorota Miśkiewicz, which pays tribute to the Polish Jazz piano school, which spans several generations and is a sublime example of Polish/European Jazz tradition. The album presents twelve songs, one original by Miskiewicz and eleven "Polish standards" composed and written by the best Polish composers and lyricists, each performed by Miśkiewicz accompanied by a different pianist and on eight of them also accompanied by the renowned Atom String Quartet.

The list of the pianists reads like the who's who of Polish Jazz: Michał Tokaj, Andrzej Jagodziński, Lutosławski Piano Duo, Bogdan Hołownia, Leszek Możdżer, Piotr Orzechowski, Tomasz Kałwak, Marcin Wasilewski, Krzysztof Herdzin, Dominik Wania, Grzegorz Turnau (who also briefly sings) and Włodzimierz Nahorny. Saxophonist Henryk Miśkiewicz (Dorota's Father) guests on one song. The DVD (filmed during the concert), included in the package, adds the concert's intro, outro and a couple of songs not included on the CD.

I am happy to say that I managed to have a more modest (with just three pianists) version of this project perform at the 2018 Singer Jazz Festival, which was extremely successful. As expected, all the performances are absolutely wonderful, a typical example of European haute Culture, where music, words and stage performance are combined to deliver an overall experience, which is more than just a sum of its ingredients. The album moves between Jazz & Poetry and highly lyrical popular music, all expertly arranged and brilliantly executed, especially in view of the fact that it was captured live.

This album delivers exactly what it promises: an extraordinary panorama of Polish Jazz piano, full of elegance, virtuosity and flair. Miśkiewicz moves with ease from one song to another, with a chameleonic change of moods and emotions, as appropriate for a great performer.

For lovers of Polish Jazz in general and Polish Jazz piano in particular, this album is a superb introduction to the subject. Even for listeners beyond the Polish language sphere, this music easily penetrates and language barriers and should be completely accessible to every music lover.

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