Release Date : October 29th 2021
When Adam Bałdych was in the early stages of working on the compositions for this new album, among the first feedback he received from a friend was the phrase “you are a poet of the violin.” That remark didn’t just give him the title of the album. It also set him thinking about the effect that music has on him and that, by extension, it can hopefully have on other people.
Bałdych, described by Jazzwise’s Stuart Nicholson as “probably the greatest violinist in jazz today,” explains that impulse quite simply: “I want to communicate.” He has a strong desire, as he explains, to “create music which will come into people’s lives and stay with them.” That in turn has led him to search for other lyrical and poetic voices, kindred spirits to place alongside his own. Thus, we find one of the great lyrical voices of European jazz, Sardinian trumpeter Paolo Fresu, of whom Bałdych says: “This soul connection is the basic and most important thing, which can then be expressed in the music.” We also hear a saxophonist with whom Baldych feels a particularly strong affinity, Marek Konarski. Both musicians grew up in the same town, Gorzów, roughly ten years apart. Their paths diverged in the years Konarski made his home in Denmark, where he is still involved in several projects.
The decision to place his own solo voice alongside others in ‘Poetry’ marks a further step in Baldych’s musical journey, away from virtuosity towards the kind of authentic individual expression that feels most natural to him. Adam Bałdych feels a very strong connection to the regular quartet he has worked with for the past three years. Krzysztof Dys on piano, Michał Barański on bass, Dawid Fortuna on drums and Bałdych himself worked successfully together on 2019’s ‘Sacrum Profanum’. Over the past three years the trust and the teamwork have deepened, and the way they dovetail together on ‘Poetry’ shows that they are a working band in the truest sense of that phrase. “We really explore together, we work on the music like a string quartet does,” he says. And the listener can hear on tracks such as ‘I Remember’ and ‘Open Sky’, with their folk music energy, just how eager this band are to stretch out on these tunes in the live context. Audiences are responding too: the quartet scooped up the audience prize at the July 2021 BMW Jazz Welt Competition.
Adam Bałdych has marked the tenth anniversary of his arrival at ACT with an important album. ‘Poetry’ is not just instantly appealing, it also has depth, honesty and soul.