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BODEK JANKE ~ SONG 2
NOT ON LABEL 4260014871218 (Barcode: 4260014871218) ~ POLAND ~ Jazz-Pop Fusion

Recorded: 2019 Released: 2020

This is an album by Polish (resident in Berlin) Jazz drummer / composer Bodek JankeFind albums by this artist recorded in an international quartet setting with Namibian vocalist / guitarist Shishani VranckxFind albums by this artist, Estonian pianist Kristjan RandaluFind albums by this artist and British bassist Phil DonkinFind albums by this artist. The excellent Polish Atom String QuartetFind albums by this artist provide the string parts and world class guests: American saxophonist Bill EvansFind albums by this artist, Israeli guitarist Gilad HekselmanFind albums by this artist and German trumpeter Sebastian StudnitzkyFind albums by this artist appear on selected tracks. The album presents ten tracks, five of which are originals (two by Janke and three by Vranckx) and the rest are arrangements of Pop songs. As the title suggests, this album is a continuation of its predecessor called "SongFind albums with this title" released a couple of years earlier.

Although basically a Jazz album, the concept it presents is a mixture of inventive and ambitious arrangements of well known Pop songs and original compositions, with the emphasis on transforming the music into way more complex setting than its origins. Not surprisingly, since the leader is a drummer, the most striking feature of the music is a completely idiosyncratic rhythmic / polyrhythmic approach, which takes the music into an entire new dimension.

The instrumental performances by all the participants on this album are simply phenomenal. Bodek is the rhythmic machine, which drives the entire ensemble, but the superb piano parts and excellent support by the bassist create a most impressive ambience of pulsating / vibrating musical unity, which sparks with originality. Vranckx adds her warm and somewhat mystical vocals, which bring the depth of African music into the proceedings. The guest stars add the proverbial cherry on top, carefully trying not to steal the show and respectfully naturally expand the ambience. The string arrangements deserve a special mention, not only because they are brilliantly executed, which is hardly surprising, but mostly due to their perfect fit to the core of the music, and not just an artificial ornamentation.

Overall this is a most unusual and highly fascinating album, which requires repeated attentive listening sessions in order to truly expose its hidden treasures. It offers strikingly unusual arrangements and brilliant performances, full of aesthetic sophistication and reflecting the best European Jazz has to offer. This music should find a wide range of listeners, who are sure to enjoy its beauty, both within the circles of Jazz connoisseurs and beyond. Wholeheartedly and highly recommended!
Updated: 08/04/2020Posted: 08/04/2020CD 1 Mini-Sleeve Recommend To A Friend

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