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IDA ZALEWSKA ~ STORYTELLING
HEVHETIA 0118 (Barcode: 8588005257725) ~ POLAND ~ Blues

Recorded: 2015 Released: 2016

This is the third album by Polish vocalist / songwriter Ida ZalewskaFind albums by this artist, recorded with a quartet comprising of pianist Kuba PluzekFind albums by this artist, who also arranged all the songs, guitarist Szymon MikaFind albums by this artist, bassist Jakub DworakFind albums by this artist and drummer Damian NiewinskiFind albums by this artist, all of them representatives of the young generation of the Polish Jazz scene. The album presents ten original songs, six of which were co-composed by Pluzek and Zalewska, three are by trumpeter Jerzy MalekFind albums by this artist and one is by pianist Bogdan HolowniaFind albums by this artist. Zalewska wrote the lyrics to seven of the songs and Joanna MajorkiewiczFind albums by this artist to the remaining three; five of songs have Polish lyrics and the other five have English lyrics.

Although the album is somewhat jazzed up, mostly by the presence of the Jazz musicians, Zalewska is body and soul oozing the Blues, with her deep, sensual voice and vocal mannerisms all originating in the Blues idiom. There is none of the typical Polish lyrical melancholy and Slavic mysticism here (well almost); it is all one or another form of the Blues. Pluzek, as the composer, arranger and main accompanist took the bull by its horns and produced a diverse but consisted body of music, which is built around Zalewska´s capabilities.

The instrumental work on this album is relatively modest, and except for Pluzek, who carries most of the weight on his shoulders, the rest of the quartet is rather subdued. Mika plays a few very nice solos, but on a Blues album one would expect a much more dominant guitar presence. The rhythm section has little more to do than to keep time, which they do pretty straightforwardly. Pluzek contributes some nice solo parts and serves the role of the accompanist amicably.

Overall, although not really my cup of gumbo, this album is definitely something fans of Soul drenched American Blues will enjoy a lot. The biggest problem this album presents to me is with the lyrics: the English lyrics are fine but Zalewska´s pronunciation is a bit off, the Polish lyrics sound really unnatural in this environment and don´t fit the music very well. I guess Blues was not meant to be sung in Polish. Anyway these are minor points and I guess this music can do very well live, much better than in a sterile studio environment.
Updated: 28/02/2016Posted: 28/02/2016CD 1 Mini-Sleeve Recommend To A Friend

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