440

Pat Metheny & Anna Maria Jopek: Upojenie

John Kelman By

Sign in to view read count
Pat Metheny & Anna Maria Jopek: Upojenie A cult favorite amongst Pat Metheny fans, Upojenie—originally released by "Anna Maria Jopek & Friends with Pat Metheny" in the singer's native country of Poland by Warner Music in 2002—has been long overdue for greater international availability. The Nonesuch edition hasn't been remastered (it doesn't need it), but will still be of interest to Metheny fans for the inclusion of three bonus tracks (one studio, two live) that flesh it out to nearly 75 minutes.

In contrast to the same-day reissue of Metheny's more spontaneous trio disc with bassist Dave Holland and drummer Roy Haynes, Question and Answer (Nonesuch, 2008), Upojenie's heavy production work more closely resembles a Pat Metheny Group project, although Metheny has never had a singer with as lovely a voice as Jopek's. Reworking material from Metheny's own back catalog in addition to traditional Polish songs and originals by Jopek, co-producer Marcin Kydrynski and other Polish writers, it's a soft, accessible album that spotlights Metheny's innate lyricism and Jopek's appealing tone. While others have put words to Metheny's music, most notably Kurt Elling's version of "Minuano" on Man in the Air (Blue Note, 2003), nobody has made it the focus of an album.

Sung in Polish, the meaning of the lyrics can only be gleaned from the liner notes, but what's most important is Jopek's voice. She's a star at home who deserves to be better-known abroad, with her ability to deliver in a pure, unaffected and subtly nuanced fashion making "Przyplyw, Odplyw, Oddech Czasu," based on Metheny's tender "Tell Her You Saw Me," from Secret Story (Nonesuch, 1992), all the more poignant. Metheny's often-covered ballad "Farmer's Trust" begins as a spare duet with Metheny on classical guitar, taking on a gentle, slightly bossa groove when bassist Darek Oleskiewicz and drummer Cezary Konrad enter, setting the stage for a beautifully constructed, melodic solo from pianist Leszek Mozdzer and a more dramatic build to the song's conclusion.

Another Metheny favorite, "Are You Going With Me?" and a more radical, balladic reworking of "Me Jedyne Niebo"—"Another Life" from Speaking of Now (Warner Bros., 2002)—feature Metheny with his signature horn-like guitar synth, while "Zupelnie inna Ja"—Secret Story's "Always and Forever"—adopts a folksier vibe with the baritone guitar Metheny used exclusively on One Quiet Night (Warner Bros., 2003).

In addition to the bonus tracks—the balladic Polish Christmas Carol "Lulajze Jezniu," the spare duet "Na Calej Poloci Snieg" and considerably brighter album closer, "Szepty I Lzy"—like Metheny's reissue of his classic Song X (1985, reissued by Nonesuch, 2005), the running order has been completely changed. There will be those who prefer the original sequence, but this version is improved by a certain seamless inevitability and narrative flow.

Upojenie will appeal to fans of Metheny's more lushly produced Pat Metheny Group efforts, and bring overdue attention to Jopek—a singer of pristine clarity and deserving of far greater recognition.

Visit Pat Metheny and Anna Maria Jopek on the web.


Track Listing: Cichy Zapada Zmrok (Here Comes the Silent Dusk); Mania Mienia (So May It Secretly Begin); Biel (Witness); Przyplw, Odplyw, Oddech Czasu (Tell Her You Saw Me); Are You Going With Me?; Czarne Slowa (Black Words); Lulajze Jezuniu (Polish Christmas Carol); Upojenie (Ecstasy); Zupelnie inna Ja (Always and Forever); Piosenka Dla Stasia (A Song for Stas); Letter From Home; Me Jedyne Niebo (Another Life); By On Byl Tu (Farmer's Trust); Polskie Drogi (Polish Paths); Tam, Gdzie Nie Siega Wzrok (Follow Me); Na Calej Polaci Snieg (The Snow Falls All Over the Place); Szepty I Lzy (Whispers and Tears).

Personnel: Pat Metheny: 42 string Pikasso guitar (1, 6), electric guitar (2, 8), baritone guitar (3, 9), classical guitar (3, 7, 13), soprano guitar (4, 14), Roland guitar synthesizer (5, 6, 12), keyboards (5, 10), acoustic guitars (6, 10, 15), guitar synth (17), soprano acoustic guitar (16, 17); Anna Maria Jopek: voices (1-10, 12, 13, 15-17), choirs (4), "soap opera" vocals (5), backing vocals (6, 8, 12, 15), Fender Rhodes (6); Leszek Mozdzer: piano (2, 4-8, 11, 13, 15, 17), Pawel Bzim Zarecki: keyboards (2, 4-6, 8, 12, 15, 17), percussion (4), loops (4, 5), keyboard programming (10); Bernard Maseli: vibes (2); Darek Oleszkiewicz: acoustic bass (2, 4, 7, 8, 10, 12-14); Cezary Konrad: drums (2, 4-8, 10, 12, 13, 15, 17); Piotr Nazaruk: backing vocals (2), recorder (2), flute (4-6, 15), additional shaker (4), hammered dulcimer (5), additional male voices (15); Wojeich Kowalewski: shakers (2, 4-6, 15), temple blocks (2, 6), timpani (4), crotales (4, 6, 12), bongos (4, 6), tambourine (5), bells (5), vibraslap (5, 12), congas (6), claves (6); Mateusz Pospieszalski: keyboards (2), loops (2, 12), orchestral chart (2, 12), conductor (2, 12); Marek Pospieszalski: turntables (2), classical guitar (8); String Ensemble: strings (2, 12); Marcin Pospieszalski: Fender jazz bass (5, 6, 15), loops (15); Henryk Miskiewicz: soprano saxophone (8, 9); Mino Cinelu: udu drum (8), triangle (8), shakers (8, 12), crotales (8), conga (12), wavedrum (12), percussion (17); Marek Napiorkowski: classical guitar (8), strumming guitar (17); Robert Kubiszyn: double-bass (17).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Nonesuch Records | Style: Fusion/Progressive Rock


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Message In Motion" CD/LP/Track Review Message In Motion
by David A. Orthmann
Published: October 27, 2016
Read "Duke Ellington's Treasury Shows - Vol. 21" CD/LP/Track Review Duke Ellington's Treasury Shows - Vol. 21
by Chris Mosey
Published: August 11, 2016
Read "Desire & Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake" CD/LP/Track Review Dreaming With Eyes Wide Awake
by Roger Farbey
Published: December 5, 2016
Read "Piano Song" CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
by Troy Collins
Published: January 26, 2017
Read "Two Of A Kind" CD/LP/Track Review Two Of A Kind
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 30, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!