Karolis Šarkus is a promising young Lithuanian jazz saxophonist who is well aware of European and American jazz traditions. He is a co-founder of the traditional sounding collective Collaborative Jazz Septet. However, Šarkus cannot be described as a die-hard adherent to tradition. On the contrary, his compositional style is mainly characterized by expanding jazz boundaries beyond established norms.
Palette of Feelings is Šarkus' long-awaited debut album. It begins with "Meeting Point." Marked by funky keys and a groovalicious vibe, the tune is exceptionally vivid and has, at times, a romantic mood. Other tracks keep the same direction with catchy melodies and bright harmoniesexcept "Psalm for Freedom," a tune based on Šarkus' grandfather's composition "Farewell," which brings some melancholic tones to the palette.
The album is a blend of different traditions and genres. On Palette of Feelings, Scandinavian jazz interacts with Herbie Hancock's funk era, while the Chick Corea-style piano and powerful drumming on "Elevation, P.t. II " is reminiscent of a rock or even metal aesthetic.
Šarkus is a versatile saxophonist with a well articulated, rich sound. He also likes using pitch shifters and does it creatively. He is experimental with his sound and technique instead of being simply being a good in-the-tradition player. Palette of Feelings is not an imitation of old forms. It's a reinterpretation of them in a new way. In global terms, the album is not a game changer but from a local Baltic perspective, it's something fresh, because such high-quality funky stuff is rare in the region.
Meeting Point; Psalm for Freedom; Elevation, Pt. I; Elevation, Pt. II; Gotta Think Less; What is Beauty; Maejor; Grit and Determination