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KRYSTYNA STANKO ~ NOVOS ANOS
FOR TUNE 0113 (Barcode: 5906395808151) ~ POLAND ~ Jazz

Recorded: 2016 Released: 2016

This is the eighth album by Polish Jazz vocalist Krystyna StankoFind albums by this artist, recorded with her regular wonderful Baltic crew which includes vibraphonist Dominik BukowskiFind albums by this artist, guitarist Marcin WadolowskiFind albums by this artist, bassist Piotr LemanczykFind albums by this artist and guest Brazilian drummer / percussionist Ze Luis NascimentoFind albums by this artist. Trumpeter Marcin GawdzisFind albums by this artist guests on two tracks and drummer Lukasz ZytaFind albums by this artist on three tracks. Together they perform eleven songs (one is repeated twice), six of which were composed by Antonio Carlos JobimFind albums by this artist, and the rest by different composers like Chick CoreaFind albums by this artist, Mongo SantamariaFind albums by this artist and others, all with a distinct samba and bossa nova character. All the songs use English lyrics.

This album marks a significant diversion in Stanko´s career, which is usually focused on singing original material composed by her or her band members. When I visited her in Gdansk three months ago, not long after this album was recorded, she told me that this was a conscious decision to create an album which could be enjoyed by a much wider audience than her previous recordings, without compromising the artistic and aesthetic values. There is no doubt that she and her band managed to do just that.

The album includes mostly very well known songs, which have been previously recorded many times by artists all over the world. This album offers however a slightly different approach, with the instrumental arrangements being much more Jazzy than similar efforts. The presence of Bukowski adds another dimension, normally not present on such recordings and the brilliant bass playing by Lemanczyk firmly places these interpretation within the Jazz idiom rather that the usual Pop or easy Jazz genre. Wadolowski adds some beautiful guitar parts, which are also quite different from the standard guitar parts used on samba albums and so does Gawdzis, albeit briefly. Of course having a Brazilian drummer / percussionist on boards ensures that rhythmically everything works perfectly.

Stanko´s deep sensual voice is of course ideally suited for these songs, and her vocal theatrics fit the bill perfectly. Although her pronunciation is not exactly "perfect" English, it is not significant as these songs have been sung in English by Jobim himself, Astrud GilbertoFind albums by this artist and countless other non-native English speaking vocalist and a slightly foreign accent in this case is perhaps an asset rather than a weakness. Stanko of course has the perfect feel needed to perform these songs and does it with obvious passion and love. She uses superb vocalese parts in addition to the lyrics, which are truly delightful. For me the most touching song of the album is the intimate trio which finds Stanko supported just by vibraphone and bass, which is perfection itself. Stanko respectfully leaves a lot of space for instrumental parts, which is most appropriate.

If this album will bring Stanko to a wider public attention, it will serve its purpose ideally. She deserves to be heard and adored by everybody as much as I do adore her, regardless what she does, not because she is my friend, but because she is a true Artist and a wonderful human being. Well done Krystyna, Dear!
Updated: 26/11/2016Posted: 20/11/2016CD 1 Mini-Sleeve Recommend To A Friend

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