Thursday, May 20, 2021

Marek Kądziela Jazz Ensemble - Marek Kądziela Jazz Ensemble (2021)

Marek Kądziela Jazz Ensemble

Marek Kądziela - guitar
Maciej Kądziela - alto axophone
Jacek Namysłowski - trombone
Paweł Puszczało - double bass
Radosław Bolewski - drums

Marek Kądziela Jazz Ensemble

AUDIO CAVE 2021/004

By Adam Baruch

As hard as it is to believe, this is only the second album as a leader by Polish Jazz guitarist/composer Marek Kądziela, this time recorded in a quintet setting with his brother saxophonist Maciej Kądziela, trombonist Jacek Namysłowski, bassist Paweł Puszczało and drummer Radosław Bolewski. The album presents eight original compositions, all by Marek Kądziela.

During the second decade of the 2000s Kadziela participated in numerous recordings and co-led several Polish and international ensembles, as diverse as Hunger Pangs, Jazabu, K.R.A.N. and KaMaSz as well as his own ADHD. These recordings present a restless, searching spirit, who is constantly trying to re-invent himself and drive towards uncharted territory, crossing genres with ease and competence. Over the years I have had the pleasure to listen to him live as well, which often exposed other aspects of his wide-ranging musical personality. There is no doubt that during that time he established himself not only as one of the leading Polish guitarists, but also as an important leader and trendsetter.

In many respects this album (as Kądziela himself states on the album’s liner notes) is an amalgamation of his experiences up to now, with an emphasis on composition, as much as on his guitar playing skills. The rather unusual sounding ensemble highlights his originality as a sound creator, which enhances the acoustic quintet with skillful use of electronics, creating a modern, somewhat rough and toothed exterior, which hides the melodic contents, without damaging it.

The individual performances are all absolutely stunning, with the leader moving between Wes Montgomery and Jimi Hendrix and back in an instant, always being himself. Namysłowski is a surprise as his playing is more open and daring than usual and the rhythm section does a wonderful job driving the music forward and filling the blanks.

Overall this is a wonderful modern Jazz album, full of great music and intricate individual performances, not easy on the ear and demanding attentive listening, but highly rewarding. Although Kądziela made a giant step forward in his career, deep down he is still a Blues/Rock kid who loves to show his guitar licks, which I personally love as much as all the serious stuff he is playing. Having said that, this album is almost completely free of any Fusion accents, announcing the leader’s full commitment to the Jazz idiom. Hats off! 

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