All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

68

The Beat Freaks: Leon

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Based in Poland, guitarist Michał Starkiewicz founded this band in 2014, followed by successful concert tours and of course, this album that presents a modicum of youthful vim and vigor, largely within the progressive jazz schema amid a few slight nods to jazz fusion. Moreover, the musicians dedicate the album to a mythical figure Leon Kokaiewicz, although the story behind these motivations briefly outlined in the album notes are not clear to me.

The quartet's buoyant and spunky mode of operations are largely developed with knotty time signatures and up- tempo grooves, often lacking memorable melodies other than the affable Middle Eastern metrics executed on "Ludowo" and the catchy hook framed on bassist Pawel Grzesiuk's booming ostinato and funky shuffle groove on "Pod Nozke." But "Noi" is a piece that serves as a good indicator of where the band likes to reside, musically that it. Here, saxophonist Tomasz Licak and Starkiewicz render sinuous and airy choruses, as the latter dishes out an animated solo via gradual buildups interspersed with tender intervals and introspective musings. Whereas, the following track "Bright Eyes" is a sublime and nimbly enacted ballad, featuring Licak's supple bass clarinet work.

The quartet's tightknit inner-workings, including drummer Radek Wośko's slapping backbeats, contrast the jazzier side of matters in concert with the proverbial dynamics. But the final track "Sierzant Zynthia," is a slightly-in-your-face straight-four jazz rocker that lacks a convincing theme and sounds more like filler material.

Looking ahead, they may want to consider honing their voice or coming up with a model that proposes more distinctive characteristics. This is an important factor when considering a jam-packed global marketplace with numerous small prog jazz ensembles that are technically impressive and well-rehearsed sans memorable compositions that prompt additional listens.

Track Listing: Longing; Pomarancze; Ludowo; Noi; Bright Eyes; Solaris; Pod Nozke; Oriented; Sierzant Zytnia.

Personnel: Michał Starkiewicz: guitar; Tomasz Licak: saxophone, bass clarinet; Paweł Grzesiuk: bass, double bass; Radek Wośko: drums.

Title: Leon | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Gateway Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
  • Leon by Glenn Astarita
Read more articles
Leon

Leon

Gateway Music
2017

buy

Related Articles

Read Home Boy, Sister Out CD/LP/Track Review
Home Boy, Sister Out
by Chris May
Published: July 22, 2018
Read Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album Deluxe Edition CD/LP/Track Review
Both Directions at Once: The Lost Album Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: July 22, 2018
Read The Literature CD/LP/Track Review
The Literature
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2018
Read A History Of Nothing CD/LP/Track Review
A History Of Nothing
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 21, 2018
Read Turbamulta CD/LP/Track Review
Turbamulta
by Glenn Astarita
Published: July 21, 2018
Read 3 CD/LP/Track Review
3
by Jim Worsley
Published: July 21, 2018
Read "Yequm" CD/LP/Track Review Yequm
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: December 28, 2017
Read "Songs of Experience: Deluxe Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Songs of Experience: Deluxe Edition
by Doug Collette
Published: February 10, 2018
Read "The Wishing Stones" CD/LP/Track Review The Wishing Stones
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: January 13, 2018
Read "Live In Geneva" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Geneva
by John Sharpe
Published: January 4, 2018
Read "Honey And Salt" CD/LP/Track Review Honey And Salt
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 22, 2017
Read "Wild Is The Wind" CD/LP/Track Review Wild Is The Wind
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 21, 2018