sax player Marcin Nowakowski made his debut in the smooth jazz genre
with his album
(2005). As experienced sideman and performer in the Polish jazz scene
he already garnered a certain popularity in the local community of
He also performed with Jose Carreras, Paul Jackson, Jr., Simon
Philips, and David Knopfer among others.
Now he prepares himself for the great
jump over the ocean to the U.S. smooth jazz scene. A pavestone to this
aim is his new album Better Days (2009), which was produced by
Jeff Lorber. While his debut album was recorded with Polish musicians
Marcin now engaged for his sophomore album the finest musicians of the
American contemporary jazz scene: Jeff Lorber (keyboards), Paul
Jackson Jr. (guitars), Alex Al (bass), Tony Moore (drums), Lenny
Castro (percussion) and many more.
Wake Up is Marcin's first
call. Supported by the above mentioned top-notch cats Marcin presents
his impressive sax melody. Shanice's megahit I Love Your Smile
(1991) is certainly a welcomed original for covers, not only because
of its great melody but also because the song features a saxophone
solo by Branford Marsalis and his name is quoted by Shanice in the
second half of the song, when she says "Blow, Branford, Blow".
Marcin's heartfelt rendition let the melody shine in its best light.
Jeff Lorber has a strong influence on
this album. Many songs like Let's do It are composed by him in
collaboration with Marcin. This young sax player shows his blessed
proficiency and progressive technique. Eric Marienthal was one of his
teachers which is
listenable. On the sophisticated Huggy Bear Marcin Nowakowski
expands his skills on alto, tenor and baritone sax as well the flute.
Sensual reveals Marcin's
romantic vein. The song was written by Wojtek Olszak, one of the best
Polish producers, musicians and composers. He also supported Marcin's
debut album. The uplifting Feelin' Good is a moody song with
contributions by Marcin and Jeff Lorber.
The sax is designed for romantic ballades and so Marcin composed
Waiting For You and performed it with one of America's best
formation (Alex Al, Jeff Lorber, Paul Jackson Jr., Dave Weckl). The
song features Jeff Pescetto, who lent the vocals to David Foster's
pianism on the latter's River of Love album. The soft piano
line is played by Wojtek Olszak, who also shines on keyboards on the
next ballade Tonight Is The Night.
The up-tempo After Hours mirrors
Marcin's dynamic performance obviously inspired by Lorber's incredible
soundscape. A great duet between both which should definitely be
expanded to a live version. The final title song presents anew Jeff
Pescetto's magic vocals.
Marcin Nowakowski's sophomore project
Better Days is without no doubt a huge step towards a
successful career. With this support of America's contemporary jazz
heroes the way to the musical Olympus is open.
- Marcin Nowakowski's Website
- Album Information
Title: Better Days
Artist: Marcin Nowakowski
Genre: Smooth Jazz
Label: Jazz / Smooth Jazz
01 Wake Up [5:08]
02 I Love Your Smile [4:20]
03 Let's do It [4:37]
04 Huggy Bear [4:47]
05 Sensual [3:22]
06 Feelin' Good [4:14]
07 Waiting For You [4:18]
08 Tonight Is The Night [4:13]
09 After Hours [4:34]
10 Better Days Ahead [4:39]
- Further Review: