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WIERBA / SCHMIDT QUINTET ~ BLACK MONOLITH
SJ 001 (Barcode: 5902020415008) ~ POLAND ~ Jazz

Recorded: 2010 Released: 2011

This is the third album by the Polish Jazz quintet, which was founded by two young players / composers: pianist Michal WierbaFind albums by this artist and trumpeter Piotr SchmidtFind albums by this artist. The quintet also includes saxophonist Marcin KaletkaFind albums by this artist, bassist Michal KapczukFind albums by this artist and drummer Sebastian KuchczynskiFind albums by this artist. On this album the quintet is expanded into a sextet with the addition of American trombonist Dante LucianiFind albums by this artist. The sextet performs six tunes, three of which are original compositions by Wierba, two are standards and the remaining one is a composition by Czech trumpeter / composer Stepanka BalcarovaFind albums by this artist, who studied at the Katowice Music Academy as did all of the quintet members. The album was recorded at the fabulous Studio Tokarnia and was engineered by Jan SmoczynskiFind albums by this artist, with excellent, as usual, sonic results.

Although the music is all within boundaries of typical Jazz mainstream, it is superbly arranged and executed. The original compositions are interesting and poise perfectly the melodic themes and the spirited attitude; the piece by Balcarova is the most impressive on the album. Overall this is a very pleasant well rounded Jazz album, which presents the sextet as a small Big Band, balancing between the brass and rhythm sections, features many excellent solo spots and shows that young Europeans can play mainstream as well as anybody else anywhere. The individual skills of the musicians involved are of course spotless.

This album is the first release on the SJFind albums on this label label, owned by Schmidt, which is one of the small independent Polish Jazz labels releasing music by young Polish Jazz musicians, a most welcome phenomenon of course, spreading the local Jazz gospel around the world.
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