Global jazz taken to the most organic level possible in a truly stunning display of beauty embraced with simplicity and complexity all most simultaneously. Marek Jakubowicz fronts an amazing collective with perhaps the finest musicians from Poland along with the soft yet lyrically focused vocals of one Anna Axmo from Malaysia. As often said, artistic comparisons are inherently unfair as Jakubowicz carries a most unique voice for modern jazz guitar but comparisons to early Pat Metheny (As Witchita Falls...) and Ottmar Liebert are certainly valid by most any standard one could measure Jakubowicz's immeasurable talent.
This Berklee College graduate immersed himself in a myriad of styles with the end result being a sound that transcends the self imposed limitations of genre that critics and label executives seem all to willing to place on someone else's work. In 2012 Feelings was credited by Jazz Wrap as one of the best releases for that particular year. The Polish Independent label Multikulti Project released Feelings which is an incredible display of what ebb and flow truly means. A sound scape of Brazilian, classical and the lighter side of modern jazz, Feelings can be though of as that rare release that can be enjoyed on a multitude of levels and by an incredibly diverse audience.
Some of the tunes catching my attention included "Feelings" opening with the somewhat melancholy bowing of the double bass only to be carefully broken by the pristine vocals of Axmo. Guitarist Jakubowicz offers the perfect counterpoint while subtle nuances from harpist Cecylia Matysik-Ignys blend in harmonious union with double bassist Marcin Oles. The refreshing and open ended presentation works incredibly well due to the fact guitarist Jakubowicz never over stays his welcome nor monopolizes the time he takes center stage, a true improvisational collective on equal footing. "Blue Rose" opens with an angular punctuation from bassist Oles which moves seamlessly into another wondrous display of the zen like quality of less is more from Jakubowicz. "Si Ceng Xiang Shi" features the lovely Chinese vocals of Axmo as the collective eases out of the release with as much precision and artistic flair as they did with the opening tune "Travel Memories."
This is a prime example of some of the incredible music the American audience continues to miss out on due to virtually all platforms turning a seemingly collective blind eye to the plethora of talent that Europe has to offer.
One of the finest recordings I have been privileged to hear.
Tracks: Travel Memories; Beyond Time; Rain; Feelings; Italian Island; Blue Rose; On My Way; Bossanova 4 My Wife; Behind The Scene; Si Ceng Xiang Shi.
Marek Jakubowicz - guitars (Poland)
Marcin Oles - double bass (Poland)
Anna Axmo - vocal & lyrics (Malaysia)
Cecylia Matysik-Ignys - harp (Poland)
Music composed by Marek Jakubowicz