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(Artgraff © 2008 # MPAGCD 001)
Review Date: Nov 2008
by Norman Darwen
“You can’t judge a book by looking at the cover”, as a great man once sang - or even a CD, I might add. Young Polish singer Magda Piskorczyk, with her long flowing hair, acoustic guitar, and cover versions of Tracey Chapman and European icon Jacques Brel, looks as though she should be filed under ‘singer-songwriter’. It is an assumption very quickly dispelled by a listen to any of the tracks of this release, beautifully recorded at the studio of Radio Gdansk in 2006.
Magda has an unusually deep voice for a woman, with a musical approach that is solidly blues-based but which also incorporates elements of modern jazz, a hint of African music, and lots of gospel (the set finishes with several gospel numbers, and Magda has performed a tribute show to Mahalia Jackson). She also knows how to involve the crowd, whose contribution here adds to the ambience.
Her English lyrics may not always be strictly accurate but she is adept at establishing a ‘blue’ mood – try her versions of UK blues-rock singer Paul Rodgers’ ‘Muddy Water Blues’ or Tommy Johnson’s classic ‘Canned Heat’ for prime examples. Occasionally too, as on Nat Adderley’s ‘Work Song’, she can remind the listener of Mose Allison, with a cool, jazzy approach to the blues. Her band shares this individual take on the music: the rhythm section of Maksymilian Ziobro and Roman Ziobro on drums and upright bass respectively provide subtle support for Magda, her often fiery and always impressive saxophonist Arkadiusz Osenkowski and acoustic guitar and dobro player Aleksandra Siemieniuk.
Rounding out this extremely fine and rather distinctive and different set is a 15 minutes long video segment, which confirms what the listener already realises after listening to this CD: Magda is one talented lady! Remember the name – Magda Piskorczyk (pronounced ‘Peaskorchick).
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