Fryderyk HD clearly knows his stuff in the jazz world and, just as clearly, considers it a jumping-off point more than a home niche. His first outing has all the marks of a fresh mind whirling with a myriad of ideas, and ready to try them all on for size. Thankfully, it is also the kind of debut which is about exploring and synthesizing one's influences more than recycling them. Sounds Good can appeal to an impressive range of tastes because it has got a little of practically everything.
While the leader's piano work is solid and versatile here, the composing and arranging do just as much to make this recording as sharp and fun as it is. There are echoes of Brad Mehldau and Esbjorn Svensson, particularly in the way the songs are hard to pin down and yet there is enough inviting melody to make sure they never feel difficult. Well, almost neverthere is a dive into electric math-prog with "Core Alchemist" in the late stretch, although it is sandwiched between two beautiful ballads, one flying groove evocative of the Pat Metheny Group and the other a free-floating dialogue between piano and gypsy violin. If that description makes the sequence sound jarring, perish the thought. Sounds Good ties all its tones together splendidly and smoothly.
Juicy guitar and light electronics spice things up in some spots, intricate-yet-catchy keyboard figures or folky simplicity in others. The small group (four or five players on each track) allows everyone room to roam or coast or simply frolic, all of which they do with bright humor and high spirits. Here we have a delightfully rich debut to soak in, and a fresh name to watch in the future; Sounds Good does indeed sound good and feel great too.
First Cycle (Intro); Little Prince; Looking Back; LnF; Spaced Out; Passing (Interlude); DeScent; Core Alchemist;
Between You and Me; SG.
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!
Get more of a good thing
Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.