Exposé Online banner

Robert Szewczuga Trio — Moonrise
(Metal Mind MMP CD 0788 DG, 2017, CD)

by Peter Thelen, Published 2018-05-21

Moonrise Cover art

Never heard of Szewczuga before? This outstanding bassist is one of the most promising young jazzmen in Poland today, but to date he has spent most of his career as a sideman or session player, initially part of Polish jazz singer Beata Przybytek's Quintet, then in 2006 joining the Szy-szy Kaan Jazz Group, then the Golec uOrkiestra big band on their fifth album. He has also been a member of Apostolis Anthimos’ recording lineup on the 2008 album Miniatures as well as the latest album Parallel Worlds. Although it represents the culmination of several years of work with his trio featuring keyboardist Michal Rorat and drummer / percussionist Pawel Dobrowolski, Moonrise is the first album bearing Szewczuga’s name. There are numerous guests featured across the album’s eight tracks, including Anthimos’ playing guitar on one cut, violinist Krzysztof Maciejowski (who also plays in Golec uOrkiestra) is featured on the opening cut “Intro (Landing),” keyboardist Dawid Broszczakowski joins on a couple tracks, as well as two different singers on the album’s two vocal numbers. Normally I would start at the beginning, but here the closing track, “Trip + Outro,” featuring Ghostman’s vocal is so powerful that it warrants an exception, building up a powerful African rhythm from mbira and keys, with bass and additional percussion joining in for the remainder of this delicate and beautiful journey, it has to be one of the finest pieces on the entire disc. The album’s other vocal track, “The Middle of Nothing,” features an interesting laid-back soul groove with English lyrics delivered by singer Jarek Kruzolek. Earlier in the program, “13” has a distinct Pat Metheny feel seemingly inspired by his “Last Train Home,” with all of the crafty guitarwork handled by Szewczuga on his six string bass and Rorat offering some diversions and twists via electric piano over its nine minute duration. “New-Old” cranks up the funk machine, with some wild out Moog synth leads reminiscent of classic Herbie Hancock, shifting gears to a slower pace in the middle for some showy bass licks. More trippy funk grooves combine with a strong latin flavor in “Salseson,” with a memorable melody delivered on bass driving the proceedings, along with some crafty solo licks on electric piano. “Victoria” is another beautiful melodic piece that starts with a nod to Metheny, then shifts into a vehicle for some superb piano-driven solos. While Moonrise remains inside the broader boundaries of the jazz idiom, it’s a varied set that represents the wide range of interests that Szewczuga and his trio are pursuing. A great start.


Filed under: New releases, 2017 releases

Related artist(s): Apostolis Anthimos, Robert Szewczuga

Latest news

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more

2019-03-03
Seaprog 2019 Lineup Almost Complete – The Seaprog festival in Seattle is scheduled for June 7-9 this year, and they've announced their lineup of performers. The revitalized Trettioåriga Kriget will cap Friday night, perennial favorites Marbin are on Saturday, and District 97 will finish off the fest on Sunday night. In support, they've booked a stellar variety of artists from the Northwest and around the world, including EchoTest, Markus Reuter and Trey Gunn, and the live debut of the amazing Troot project. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

The Nels Cline Singers - The Giant Pin – Since these initial recording dates in 2003 guitarist Nels Cline has been propelled from obscure LA sound sculptor to the indie big time with Wilco. Sifting through these older trio performances...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues