Poetry Adam Bałdych
- 1Heart Beats03:56
- 2I Remember06:09
- 11Open Sky06:47
Info for Poetry
Polish violinist Adam Bałdych is a unique virtuoso of his instrument in jazz. However, he puts his virtuosity entirely at the service of the music - with a cultivated tone, a strong sense for sound and space and a talent for haunting melodies. All qualities that link him to the Sardinian trumpeter Paolo Fresu, one of Italy's most successful jazz musicians, who becomes Bałdych's musical partner in lyrical musical conversations on "Poetry".
Chance remarks can have far-reaching consequences. 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.” Such beliefs have been reinforced and seemingly made more urgent by the detachment of the pandemic. He started asking himself the question: “What is there in my life story that I can share?” And that in turn 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.” Fresu is on five tunes, most notably on the title track “Poetry”, a true gem at the heart of this programme.
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. Bałdych says: “He is younger than me, but we have so much in common I sometimes feel we must have known each other in a past life.” That sense that this group is producing music which is rooted in a past reality is there right from the opening track, “I Remember”.
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. “I stopped trying to be a virtuoso producing huge numbers of notes. I want to tell a story, and to shape and balance simplicity with the innovative language of the violin.
He has also - literally - deepened his musical voice, through the use of the renaissance violin, tuned a seventh below the normal violin. That sonorous voice has become more confident, and is to be heard at its most yearning and soulful on the deeply touching short tune "Grace".
“Poetry” is also a landmark album for Bałdych in another sense. It is about to be ten years since his appearance at a late night show at the Quasimodo club as part of JazzFest Berlin in 2011. That performance, which also included pianist Krzysztof Dys, now part of Bałdych’s regular band, led to Siggi Loch signing the violinist the very next day to the ACT label, This is the Pole's sixth album for the label.
There have been other changes in Bałdych’s life in the past year. The album is dedicated to the violinist’s wife Karina, and to his young son Teodor who was born in 2020. Time not spent on the road has clearly had its compensations, and when Baldych talks, his deeply positive spirit shines through: “Troubles give the opportunity to do things you wouldn’t normally do. I have an improviser’s soul.”
Adam Bałdych also 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 Bałdychhimself worked successfully together on “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 in tracks such as “I Remember” and “Open Sky” with their folk music energy, just how eager this band is to stretch out on these tunes in the live context. And 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.
Adam Bałdych, violin, renaissance violin
Paolo Fresu, trumpet, flugelhorn
Marek Konarski, tenor saxophone
Krzysztof Dys, piano
Michał Barański, double bass
Dawid Fortuna, drums
At the age of 16, Adam started performing internationally (Germany, Poland, Serbia, Hungary, Indonesia, Spain, France, USA). First called "a child prodigy" evolved to being named one of the most interesting jazz violinists in Europe.
Bałdych: „has, without doubt, the greatest technique of any jazz violinist alive today”, but except his virtuosity, he is also appreciated for his original sound and compositions. Adam Bałdych consciously refers in his music to Polish tradition and blurs the differences between classical and jazz music.
Adam Bałdych recorded his first album for the prestigious label ACT MUSIC in 2012. Album "Imaginary Room" was produced by Siggi Loch and Nils Landgren and recorded with the leading European jazz Artists (Lars Danielsson, Jacob Karlzon, Verneri Pohjola, Marius Neset and Morten Lund). His second album for ACT “The New Tradition” was recorded together with Israeli pianist Yaron Herman and released on 30th of May 2014. Recently ACT released “Jazz at Berin Philharmonic IV - Accordion Night” which is a recording from the concert within the Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic series. 28th of August 2015 his third album for ACT was released – Adam Bałdych & Helge Lien Trio „Bridges”. “Brothers” – Bałdych’s fourth album for ACT recorded also with Helge Lien Trio and Tore Brunborg, will be released 25th of August 2017.
Adam is the winner of ECHO Jazz 2013 – the most important German music award bestowed on artists by the German music industry (he also got ECHO Jazz nomination in 2016); Grand Prix Jazz Melomani 2011 in the Jazz Hope category and Grand Prix Jazz Melomani 2012 as Artist of the Year. Adam was also nominated for the FRYDERYK Prize in 2013, 2015 and 2016 as an Artist of The Year in Jazz. Adam Bałdych received for the album “The New Tradition”, the award for Best Jazz Album 2014. This award is granted every year within the Gala Grand Prix Jazz Melomani by TVP Programme 2 and Jazz Melomani Society. In June 2016 Adam Bałdych was awarded with GOLD CROSS OF MERIT by President of Poland and MEDAL OF MERIT for his cultural achievements and successes.Among the musicians Adam Bałdych has worked with, there are not only extremely appreciated jazz musicians: Jim Beard, Iiro Rantala, Leszek Możdżer, Billy Cobham, Aaron Parks, Jacob Karlzon, Lars Danielsson, Joachim Kühn and Michel Portal, but also artists famous in pop music (Mika Urbaniak, L.U.C) and classical music (Paweł Hendrich, Andrzej Bauer, Cezary Duchnowski, Royal String Quartet).
A very important moment in Adam Bałdych’s career, was the time he spent in New York, where he was working with young jazz scene, played in legendary jazz clubs and got amazing reviews from American magazines. New York was the place where being among many cultures and their sounds, he “found himself” - as he described it. In his music, deriving from many elements, the Slavic melancholy and space, the strength and temperature of the Polish origins is his litemotive.
Often compared with the greatests: Michał Urbaniak, Zbigniew Seifert and Henryk Wieniawski.
Expelled from music school for inappropriate behavior and jazz aspirations, few years later Adam got scholarship at Berklee College of Music and graduated with honors jazz department at Music Academy in Katowice (Poland).
In 2007 he did a project with Grammy-Award winner - Jim Beard, presenting Adams' music combined with Jim's great compositions. Year after, he makes music with Leszek Możdżer and Lars Danielsson for movie "Arne Treasure". In 2009 he is recording album called "Tribute to Seifert" with most influential violinists nowadays such as: Didier Lockwood, Pierre Blanchard, Jerry Goodman, Krzesimir Dębski, Christian Howes and guitarist – leader of the project Jarosław Śmietana.
Adam Bałdych recently focused also on composing for bigger bands too: in 2014 he composed a special cycle „Mozaika” for orchestra and jazz quintet – referring to culture mixtures of alluvial population and drawing from their tradition. Also, in 2015 he composed „Mozaika - Impresje” – for improvised violin, vocal, piano, double bass, percussion and string orchestra for Baltic Neopolis Orchestra order.
Among concerts and career soloist Adam works as a composer of music for theater and collaborates with many theaters and directors (Raphael Matusz, Ellen Lande, Robert Czechowski, Przemysław Wisniewski, John Tomaszewicz).