Adam Baldych Quintet with Paolo Fresu: Poetry

Ten years in to his association with ACT, the Polish violinist teams up for a lyrical session with Fresu's charmingly mournful flugelhorn


I last heard Adam Baldych on his New Tradition album for ACT. Poetry shows a real sense of development both in composition and playing. There is maturity here, the ongoing desire to communicate through soulful, thoughtful music, and that comes out strongly.

At the heart of this album, Baldych has asked what in his life can he share and then turned those thoughts into some very emotional but controlled compositions. Family history, sense of place, nature and the importance of love and connections all feature in his work.

Adding to the mood is the lovely sound of Paolo Fresu on trumpet and flugelhorn. There is something irresistibly mournful but engaging about the sound of the flugelhorn, and when it’s teamed with Baldych’s wonderful playing, especially on the lower register Renaissance violin, it’s impossible not to get drawn into the storytelling simplicity on some of the songs.

Bjork’s edgy Hyperballad feels right at home here with Baldych’s own compositions. In places, the phrasing and tone Baldych produces reminds me of the excellent Chris Garrick, and in the deceptively simple, pulsing nature of some tracks, Baldych sounds to be questioning his family history and where he came from in the same way that Mathias Eick has on his most recent albums.

Poetry also marks Baldych’s 10th anniversary with ACT. Lyrical, engaging and honest, it’s an impressive way to mark that anniversary. It also leaves a strong impression that there’s a lot more to come.

Heart Beats; I Remember; Stars; Teodor; Poetry; Hyperballad; Wish; Psalmody; Birds; Grace; Open Sky (52.59)
Baldych (v); Paolo Fresu (t, flh); Marek Konarski (ts); Krzysztof Dys (p); Michael Baranski (b); Dawid Fortun (d). Monochrom Studio, somewhere in Europe, 18-19 June 2021.
ACT 9939-2