I had originally noticed Bartozzi Wojciechowski on Facebook, when I decided to feature his signature Zakrzewski signature bass in our Skin DEEP contest. The bass, I love. Turns out I love the sound as well. During the contest, I went to Bartozzi’s website and sampled the his Debut EP, simply entitled “Bartozzi.” About ten seconds into the first tune, I knew I wanted a copy, so I made my purchase, and decided to do the review. Every song on this debut EP is worth its weight in gold. The Wojciechowski Bartozzi Bass is a magnificent instrument, and in the hands of this skilled musician, everything just comes to life in a blaze of bass voice!
The EP is five songs, and each one is a sensual feast for the ears. It’s Jazz, Soul, Funk, and even a little Disco (that’s Dance or House to the not-from-the-70s crowd).
All And More is a great opener, with percussion and guitar leading us into the full-bodied jazzy sound of the song. It’s the first of the two songs to feature vocals, and Konrad Biliński sings a nice tune. Bartozzi thumps up a heavy bottom end on this one.
Next is Delivered, a sharp-toned piece that begins all smooth and moody, and then explodes into kind of a Nu-Jazz experience that made me smile. The sax and keyboards are wonderful friends to bring along as the bass rumbles away down below. I like the use of aural space in the killer-filler section in the middle. Bass, keys, and drum - each instrument carves out a home; separate, but all together in the heart. There’s another combo like this later in the song with the bass, sax, and some keys. So nice. Bartozzi has an ear for the bass’ place in this mix. I’d love to see this one performed live. Oh, heck, I’d love to see 'em ALL performed live.
Told You So follows as a wicked bass-centric dance mover. Lotsa groove in those horns. Keys and beats to ensure you won’t be sitting down... or at least bobbin’ your head! Bartozzi gives us some wonderful melodic bass chords to take us out. Excellent, energetic song, with a nice feeling.
The fourth track is Fromscratch; it features a monstrously heavy bassline underneath some smooth pads on the keyboard. A nice surprise is the addition of a snappy trumpet to the already funky sax/trombone setup. As with every track on this EP, the percussion/drums are inventive and jazzy; they give all the other instruments a foundation on which to explore mood and feeling.
Finally, we end with Thinkin’ Of You, which blew me away with how really retro it sounded. Call it Dance or House if you are not as old as this child of the 70s, but I hear Disco, and I’m sticking with it (so there). As the previous number, Fromscratch, ends, this one fires up right away, coming in like a clean segue from one mood to the next. Konrad Biliński features again as the singer of the second vocal performance, and he brings the tune to life. The way the vocal blends is what makes me think of Disco. Of course, that sizzling snare helps. The added guitar and sweeps from the keyboards are pure 70s retro to me. Bartozzi takes over with a bass solo, and, well, someone here was definitely shaking their booty.
All in all, I was very impressed with this tight production of five songs. As I understand from the liner notes, most of the songs were recorded in pieces, in separate places and at different times by each musician. That seems to be the trend these days, and though I’m still not entirely sure I think it’s the best way to record, I do understand that lives are complicated these days, and sometimes this is the way it gets done. In the end, I think the best thing to do is let the music speak for itself. If it sounds good, I can’t focus on the circumstances of the recording techniques.
Bartozzi plays his Zakrzewski Essential throughout, and I love it.
Check out his Bartozzi's Website and drop some coin on this collection (pay what you want in effect).
I, for one, would like to see more of his music in the future!
I’m including a couple of videos of him wielding this mighty ax! Yow! (not from the album)
© 2014 CL Seamus for Thunder Row