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JOANNA SLOWINSKA ~ ZIELNIK POLSKI
ROZSTAJA 116 ~ POLAND ~ Jazz-Classical Fusion

Recorded: 2016 Released: 2016

This is an album which presents a live recording of a very grand musical undertaking, which brings together vocalist Joanna SlowinskaFind albums by this artist, a well known Polish World Music singer, with a Polish Classical orchestra Sinfonietta CracoviaFind albums by this artist and a Polish Jazz quartet led by young and upcoming violinist Stanislaw SlowinskiFind albums by this artist, which also includes pianist Katarzyna PietrzkoFind albums by this artist, bassist Justyn MalodobryFind albums by this artist and drummer Maksymilian OlszewskiFind albums by this artist. Together they perform twelve pieces, two of which are instrumentals and ten are songs featuring lyrics by Jan SlowinskiFind albums by this artist. In case you are wondering, Joanna and Jan are Stanislaw´s parents. Stanislaw Slowinski composed the music to eleven of these pieces and the last piece on the album was composed by Joanna Slowinska and arranged by Stanislaw. The album´s title ("Polish Herbarium"), the titles of the individual pieces and their subject matter clearly suggest that this is a concept album and the pieces are in fact a song cycle.

The overall atmosphere, soaked in typical Polish melancholy, religious martyrology and solemn reflection is heavy and overbearing, and creates a piece of music that is definitely not easy to absorb or even listen to. The sound is mostly massive and daunting, often overdramatic and even cataclysmic, something which could easily be used as a horror movie soundtrack, rather than something listeners would chose to listen to voluntarily. The only piece, which is performed by just the vocalist and the Jazz quartet, is definitely the most coherent piece on the album.

The music, although dominated by Classical influences, manages to amalgamate strong folkloristic themes and subtle Jazz sensitivity and shows talent and dedication by the composer and all the musicians involved. It seems Stanislaw Slowinski is trying to conquer the musical world a bit too aggressively and a bit prematurely, even for such talented young men as he is. It is worth to remember that less is often more, both in music and life in general.

Having said all that, this is still definitely an unusual and ambitious album that deserves to be heard and appreciated. A little less intensity and drama next time should make everything just perfect.
Updated: 25/02/2017Posted: 25/02/2017CD 1 Digipak Recommend To A Friend

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