“It is my musical journey wth a baggage of love to the black creators of jazz, blues, hip-hop, groove and rhythm, people and citiies, a dedication to those who have gone and those who are still here ” – says the Polish jazz legend and fusion pioneer Michal Urbaniak of his newest recording, released on the ocassion of the 75th anniversary of the outbreak of Warsaw Uprising. „For Warsaw With Love” is a collection of 12 pieces, mostly Urbaniak’s originals tunes, but also two venerable jazz ballads – Thelonious Monk’s “Round Midnight” and the Bill Evans-Miles Davis penned “Blue in Green.” Urbaniak plays his trademark electric violin, as well as alto and tenor saxes. The varying personnel features guest appearances by rapper Walter West, Marcus Miller and Al MacDowell on bass guitar, Lenny White on drums, David Gilmour on guitar, Michael Patches Stewart on trumpet, Herbie Hancock on piano in one track, and several top Polish names of younger generation.
Nérija played at the Jazzwise 20th anniversary festival at Ronnie Scott’s in March 2017 and have really developed since – not least as many of the band members, such as Nubya Garcia and Cassie Kinoshi, are fully fledged solo artists now. It’s a really refreshing album, mainly thanks to Shirley Tetteh’s exuberant guitar work that lifts this out of the hip hop/drum and bass clichés of many other current bands, taking it into the realms of African high life and melodically-charged indie rock, with a firm foothold in jazz. Uplifting stuff.
Anna Filipieva, Jazz.ru (Russia)
EVGENY PONOMAREV QUARTET: N.N. Song (Aerosound / Barabanov.fm)
Kiki Manders is a mature vocalist, who draws from rich resources sparking like tinder here. She brings it to full bloom in close interconnection with her imaginative Berlin fellow musicians: Phillip Brämswig on guitar, Jonathan Ihlenfeld Cuñiado on electric bass and Jim Black on drums/percussion. The music shines through the naturalness of its beguiling transitions – transitions between different sides of a personal world as well as between moods and qualities of light – within pieces and between pieces. It may float light as a feather, go on a magical high-fly, can be of jubilating exuberance, can have a street-wise rocking attack or draws on radical reduction. Kiki Manders made wonderful choices to bring into existence this captivating composition as a unified whole. It is a powerful song-driven affair with sonic underpinnings, reduction and expansions into atmospheric depths, manifold linguistic shading and in between and above all: la voix. It is an album that captivates with its very own charm of naturalness, naivety and sophistication – frank and free, no little thing…