Larry Koonse & Darek Oleszkiewicz: Storybook (2007)
In a new venture and on a new jazz label, Jazz Compass, West Coast guitarist Larry Koonse and bassist Darek "Oles" Oleszkiewicz essentially perform a series of duets, with the subtle assistance of percussionist Munyungo Jackson.
These ten original compositions feature the musicians in a series of intimate duets and trios that feature the melody played by both the bassist as well as the guitarist. The compositions have a feeling of shared lyrical empathy and seem influenced by classical writing, notably at the outset of the session. "Island Song," set at the album's midway point, provides a catchy melody, while other compositions like "Senegal Trance Dance" seem like a nod to world music influences.
The net effect of the album is of a unified series of songs in which one flows into the next with a quiet intensity. Munyungo Jackson's percussion efforts are not obtrusive at all and actually do enhance the respective moods. Koonse and Oles have performed consistently on recordings, as well as with others over the course of the past decade, and in doing so they've established reputations as solid sidemen as well as bandleaders.
Track Listing: Vignette; For Chopin; Between Nowhere and Goodbye; Candle; Island Song; Beautiful Eyes; Seventh Heaven; Harlequin; Senegal Trance Dance; Valentine.
Personnel: Larry Koonse: acoustic and electric guitars; Darek "Oles" Oleskiewicz: bass; Munyungo Jackson: percussion.