No doubting Janek is a great bassplayer and I’d met him briefly and he seemed a lovely guy but I didn’t rush to get this record when it came out. I just supposed it would be another fusion blowout, chops, shredding and all that!
I was wrong. I should have known. Janek is way too musical for that. The musicianship only serves the musical expression on the record and I have to thank Steve Lawson for turning me onto what was one of my favourite records of last year. I really find it quite an emotionally affecting record. Funnily I had been turned on to Little Dragon whose ‘Twice’ Janek here covers beautifully in the same week I first heard this record.
It gets you from the first. ‘To Begin’ has a gorgeous behind the beat neo-soul swing to it with Audun Waage’s laid back trumpet and Janek’s melodic soloing. ‘Bethany’ has a simple theme and a chord sequence, groove and development I just adored. Jojo Mayer drums wonderfully throughout. ‘Four Brothers’ is a burning way to end a record.
Try it out. Janek has made a special record here.
released 26 October 2010
Janek Gwizdala – Bass, Jojo Mayer – Drums, Mike Stern – Guitar, Tim Miller – Guitar, James Valentine – Guitar, Airto Moreira – Percussion/Vocals, Doug Wamble – Guitar/Vocals, Audun Waage – Trumpet, Bob Reynolds – Tenor Saxophone