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OLA MONKO ~ WHEREVER YOU ARE
SOLITON 846 (Barcode: 5901571098463) ~ POLAND ~ Jazz

Recorded: 2017 Released: 2018

This is the debut album by Polish pianist / composer Ola MonkoFind albums by this artist, recorded in a quintet setting with trumpeter Jerzy MalekFind albums by this artist, saxophonist Maciej SikalaFind albums by this artist, bassist Michal BaranskiFind albums by this artist and American (resident in Poland and married to Monko) drummer Eric AllenFind albums by this artist. The album presents nine compositions, eight of which are originals composed by Monko and one is a standard, all of which were arranged by Monko. The album offers a warm clear sound, which fondly resembles the famous Blue NoteFind albums on this label Records sound created by the legendary Rudy Van GelderFind albums by this artist.

The music sits comfortably within contemporary mainstream Jazz, which is not surprising considering that Monko spent thirteen years living and playing Jazz in the US, where she was exposed to what the best American Jazz has to offer. Her compositions are all well built and offer solid melodies and coherent harmonic structures, which results in them sounding as good as any Jazz standard played today.

All the members of the quintet are veteran players with years of experience behind them and as the result the music flows smoothly and elegantly from one tune to another and the album seems to be over in a flash. All three soloists contribute inspired solo parts and the rhythm section keeps the music streaming in an amicable fashion.

Overall although not innovative as far as the Jazz idiom is concerned, this album offers splendid mainstream Jazz experience and presents an excellent collection of original tunes, which prove that the Polish Jazz musicians can play American mainstream as well as their counterparts across the pond and compose wonderful heartfelt tunes.

For mainstream Jazz lovers this album is a gem from start to finish and a most pleasant listening experience. Congratulations go to Monko for finally making her statement, hopefully only the first of many. Go Girl!
Updated: 27/10/2018Posted: 27/10/2018CD 1 Digipak Recommend To A Friend

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