Friday, November 29, 2019

Andrzej Kowalski Quartet – Abstrakt (2019)

Andrzej Kowalski Quartet

Andrzej Kowalski - guitar, piano
Robert Wypasek - saxophones, piano, synth
Jan Wierzbicki - bass
Adam Wajdzik - drums



By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by young Polish Jazz guitarist/composer Andrzej Kowalski recorded in a quartet setting with saxophonist Robert Wypasek, bassist Jan Wierzbicki and drummer Adam Wajdzik. The album presents nine original compositions, all by Kowalski. It was recorded at the excellent Monochrom Studio and offers a high sound quality.

The music is excellent modern mainstream Fusion, based on solid compositions which incorporate melodic themes and quite unusual rhythmic structures, creating a dynamically diverse atmosphere of tension. The compositions are way more complex than the average Fusion material and certainly more sophisticated and intelligently weaved.

These four young musicians share the responsibility for the music the quartet produces quite equally, which is rather unusual. Although the guitar and the saxophone deliver most of the soloing, as expected, the rhythm section is also constantly busy with laying out the complex pulsations and quirky tempi changes, all clearly audible for the entire duration of the music, as well as soloing impressively.

Overall this is a surprising and unusual debut album, which manages to step outside of the conventional Fusion frameset by adding more freedom, both harmonically and rhythmically, rejuvenating the somewhat stale genre and proving that it is still able to astonish the listener. The level of performances by these young musicians proves again that the Polish Jazz scene enjoys an incredible surge of juvenile blood transfusion into its veins, which keeps it alive and sparkling.

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