These nine tracks are a joy to my heart and I can tell you right from the beginning that it is to me one of the best recordings I’ve heard this year. As a debut, it is simply mind-blowing and equally addicting like last year’s Florian Favre one or Fabienne Ambühl’s two years ago. Why those two, you might ask, amount the hundred others. Simply due to its spiritual quality.
Kasia is one of those musicians who are down to the Earth honest. They bring you their heart in their hand. All nine compositions are coming from the band. Six of them sound to me like proper scores developed in a process. During playing and listening to each other for long. Three others, called Episodes are representing kind of suite to me, where every musician in the trio gets his own space to express himself and make a kind of signature. An order on the recording makes perfect sense when interludes are establishing a pace of the recording when placed between the tracks being played by the whole trio.
Episode 1 belongs to the drummer Piotr Budniak. It is a wonderful percussive framework, build with very subtle tissue. Changing tempos and the minimalistic approach on drums and rides are contrasting each other and bringing such an organic feeling to the table.
The piece called Passaic Avenue makes a perfect example to describe Kasia’s approach. It sounds a bit like Esbjörn Svennson, who’s emotional touch is audible in her play and a little bit Komeda like, with its folk sounding repetitive lines, bringing that unmistakable touch of Polish Romanticism. Kasia walks and watches. Music delivers in her head due to the feelings. She is like a painter. She is communicating with pictures. Every tune speaks its own story. Story she felt before she forged that into the sounds.
Take the Green Eyes which are Grey, another so much personal and intimate deeply emotional piece of music which makes listener almost feeling like a trespasser. But this is nothing else like this absolute emotional transparency she shares with an audience which is her best weapon of choice and makes her voice standing out of the crowd.
Episode 2, lovely balanced bass walk, just like the drummer’s one, scopes massively from the contrast of tension and straight forwardness of the woody tone of the instrument. It is almost dreamy in its feeling. It comes to the end just when one starts to fall in love with. It is like unveiled promise. So, light and ephemeral. Not the feeling that one usual gets from the double bass. And it had not been played in a cello register either.
Intimacy starting with wonderful drummer’s intro is my absolute favourite of that forthright stories. It comes like a storm. First with a gentle tension of the percussive rhythms and accents, then joined with the full piano blow and, staying in the conversation with, bass. It is not about the volume here as title would clearly suggest, but about the intensity of the communication inside the piece. Culmination comes as a natural climax build on the spark of emotions which all the band is melting in that pot with equal intensity.
Kasia’s own Episode 3 is based on the silence between the notes. Tension and reverb are what makes that music, which is the darkest sounding one on the record. Intensity and the emotional feeling present there are reminding me my always beloved Mal Waldron. Such a joy to hear his spirit in her gentle feminine touch.
Long story short I admire her mature approach and the way she listens to her instincts and the inner voice. It is especially surprising given her young age. But as I said above, her lack of mannerism and complete openness to what comes are her greatest strengths. I am keeping that record close to the heart where it belongs and waiting impatiently for more to come from this incredibly sensitive young artist. I feel delighted and privileged for being trusted to come across those recording and being able to Harold it to you Ladies and Gentleman.
KASIA PIETRZKO on SOUNDCLOUD