Thursday, June 18, 2020

Agnieszka Wilczyńska/Andrzej Jagodziński - Wilcze Jagody (2019)

Agnieszka Wilczyńska/Andrzej Jagodziński

Agnieszka Wilczyńska - vocals
Andrzej Jagodziński - piano

Wilcze Jagody

PRIVATE EDITION 5907222840030

By Adam Baruch

This is a beautiful Jazz & Poetry album by the Polish duo comprising of vocalist Agnieszka Wilczyńska and veteran pianist/composer Andrzej Jagodziński. The album presents eleven original songs composed by Jagodziński and featuring lyrics by contemporary Polish poets/lyricists: Andrzej Poniedzielski, Stanisław Tym, Wiesława Sujkowska and Jan Wołek. Wilczyńska contributed the lyrics to one of the songs. Jagodziński in addition to playing the piano add also some accordion parts.

The music is an archetypal example of what the essence of Polish Jazz represents, in its profound lyricism, melancholy and harmonies deeply rooted in Polish Folklore, which are unmistakably idiosyncratic. Jagodziński's compositions, which are influenced and inspired by his insightful love and understanding of the music of Frederic Chopin, are heartbreakingly melodic and deeply wistful, and when combined with the intelligent and thoughtful lyrics they simply become irresistible. For listeners interested in exploring his exceptional status and his contribution to the Polish Jazz idiom, I recommend the wonderful "Muzyka Polska" album, which is a classic.

But clearly the amalgam of this superb music and the marvelous vocal performances by Wilczyńska is what makes this album even more special. She is undoubtedly an ideal Jazz & Poetry singer, with a perfect diction that allows each and every syllable to be heard precisely, a sublime theatrical expressionism which allows sensitive delivery of the underlying emotions and last but not least has a wonderful voice and feel of the music, which is clearly evident when she sings the lyrics or improvises using vocalese. Wilczyńska cleverly avoids any unnecessary theatrical extravagance, delivering the lyrics with charming minimalism, clearly achieving the "less is more" effect, which ideally suits the concept of this album. I wish all the young Polish Jazz vocalists simply listened to this album, which is a classic example of how things should be done in that field.

During my last visit in Poland, just a few weeks ago and before the corona virus took control of our lives, I had an opportunity to hear Wilczyńska, Jagodziński and other Polish Jazz musicians deliver an unforgettable performance in a small club in the outskirts of Warsaw. The venue was absolutely packed with fans, which wouldn't let the musicians off the stage after two solid hours of brilliant music. I hope all of you, my Friends, are well and I do hope to see you all again soon. May the Jazz Force be with you!

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