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

2021-04-01
New Aristocrats Live Album on the Way – No foolin'! These supreme musicians toured Europe early in 2020, just before touring ceased to be a thing musicians could do, and there were some hot performances captured. On May 7, some of these will be releases as Freeze! Live in Europe 2020. » Read more

2021-03-25
Return of Jerry Lucky's Progressive Rock Files – After much consideration and surprisingly, positive feedback, Jerry Lucky is announcing the launch of the progressive Rock Files podcast, featuring the latest progressive rock music from around the world. » Read more

2021-03-14
Jewlia Eisenberg RIP – The sad news has come out that Jewlia Eisenberg has died. As a founding member of Charming Hostess, Eisenberg changed the face of music, bringing together Balkan klezmer, American folk, and experimental rock in a distinctive blend that garnered much praise. » Read more

2021-03-11
RIP Roger Trigaux – The sad news has come to our attention that Roger Trigaux, the guiding force of Present and former member of Univers Zero, passed away on the evening of March 10, 2021 after a long ilness. » Read more

2021-02-14
SoundQuest Fest 2021 – SoundQuest Fest, first experienced as a live festival in Tucson Arizona in 2010 was created by ambient music pioneer Steve Roach. This 2021 event will unite a worldwide gathering of artists and audience members together for a 3-day online event unique in the realm of ambient music. From March 26-28th a continuous flow of streamed performances, audio-video wonder worlds and deep immersion zones will burn bright on Roach’s YouTube channel. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Chrome - Retro Transmission – After a lengthy hiatus, Helios Creed has returned with a new Chrome album. Having never heard a Chrome album before I cannot say if this is representative or not. I can tell you one major influence on...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues