Is there a perfect recipe for a successful jazz record? Apparently, it can be a neat balance between a well-formed composition and a mature improvisation. If indeed it is, then I’m inclined to believe strongly in the musical proposal by guitarist Michał Starkiewicz and his project The Beat Freaks. I find it primarily as a very attractive vesrion of the proverbial “golden mean”, where the main role is played by the balance and artistic competence of the artists. This balance is equally due to Starkiewicz and his excellent companions – classy and pugnacious saxophonist Tomasz Licak, both restraint and frivolous bassist Pawel Grzesiuk and holding everything professionally in rhythm, drummer Radek Wośko. Consequently, we are confronted with an extremely coherent, unpretentious musical concept, devoid of unnecessary chaos and oriented towards mutual understanding. And that’s about it.
“Leon” is a musical attempt to illustrate the life and work of Leon Kokakiewicz – a fictional character created by the band – a city bard from the time of rapid industrial development. Visionary ideas, machine inspiration, and immodest amount of currant liquor gave an unexpected mix of rhythms, sounds and melodies. The Beat Freaks try to capture these unique ideas with the help of modern instruments, which were already predicted 200 years ago by Leon Kokakiewicz himself. But it’s not all – the innovation was in fact urban bard’s superior idea, so The Beat Freaks creates ever more new music that boldly looks forward.