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

2019-01-11
Jazz Composer Mark Lomax, II Releases Epic 12CD Set – In addition to being a fine jazz drummer, Dr. Mark Lomax, II is a composer in residence at Ohio State University, where he has been very busy on the compositional front. The year 2019 is the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the first ship bringing African slaves to North America, and in commemoration of this, Lomax has produced 400: An Afrikan Epic, a 12 volume set of CDs featuring a variety of different musical ensembles. » Read more

2019-01-02
Chicago-Based Surabhi Ensemble Tours the World in January – Surabhi Ensemble was formed more than a decade ago in Chicago with the aim of bringing together musicians from varying traditions to make music. Saraswathi Ranganathan, who plays veena, assembled a cast that includes Arabic oud, Spanish guitar, and percussion from Africa and India. This month, the group will be sharing their sounds with concert-goers in Southeast Asia, Europe, and Africa. » Read more

2018-12-23
Seaprog Festival Seeks Donations – Seaprog is a small festival in Seattle that highlights creative music from many genres with artists from around the world. It's also a US non-profit organization. They're seeking donations to help keep the ball rolling. Starting in 2013, the organization has been growing, and has featured such artists as Free Salamander Exhibit, Jack o' the Clock, Nik Turner, Cabezas de Cera, Miriodor, Thinking Plague, and many more. » Read more

2018-11-16
The Seventeenth Dream of Dr Sardonicus Festival Tickets Now Available – Fruits de Mer Records and their merry crew of psychedelic explorers are getting set to present the next The Seventeenth Dream of Dr. Sardonicus Festival. The dates are set for August 2-4, 2019 at The Cellar Bar in Cardigan, Wales. They've also announced that the legendary Groundhogs will top the bill. » Read more

2018-11-02
Charles O'Meara (C.W. Vrtacek) RIP – A true musical original has left us. Charles O'Meara, who recorded under the name C.W. Vrtacek, was a wild-card musical talent, ranging from complex progressive rock to introspective modern compositions, with stops at many places inbetween. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Joy of Cooking - Joy of Cooking, Closer to the Ground, & Castles – Those looking for a 'good ole time' need look no further — funky West Coast psychedelia flavored country-rock to be found here. Equally rooted in the blues, this stuff is steeped in the tradition of...  (2007) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues