Wednesday 5 June 2019

'When You Are Here' by Culture Revolution Project

The Culture Revolution Project marks the union of long-time friends US trumpeter Keyon Harrold and Polish saxophonist Sylwester Ostrowski who - after having met over ten years ago through performances in Szczecin - come together to release their joint project 'When You Are Here', recorded in 2018.

Trumpeter Keyon Harrold, who boasts 'The Mugician' (2017) and 'Introducing Keyon Harrold' (2009) amongst his solo releases has also established his name by chalking up numerous studio collaborations with artists including Gregory Porter, Maxwell, Chris Dave and Terrace Martin.  Such was Harrold's skill with the trumpet that he was famously called upon to sub horn duties for the legendary Miles Davis in Don Cheadle's Davis biopic, 'Miles Ahead'.

And joining Harrold as part of this Project is revered saxophonist Sylwester Ostrowski.  Ostrowski has not only leant his sax and production work to projects by Marek Nied┼║wiecki and Piotr Wojtasik but is also a recording artist in his own right whether he's releasing albums under his own name ('Don't Explain', 2013) or being backed by The Jazz Brigade ('In Our Own Way', 2018).

Stan Getz once likened the idea of musicians playing together to a good conversation between friends and the sharing of their ideas with each other.  It's a mind-set that makes this international pairing for the Culture Revolution Project all the more fascinating as Harrold and Ostrowski lead this engaging eleven-track conversation which includes additional players - both US and Polish - Nir Felder on guitar, Shedrick Mitchell on piano, Burniss Earl Travis on bass, Terreon Gully on drums and Jasson Harrold on additional drum production. 

The intriguing combination of rapper Pharoahe Monch and vocalist Paulina Pryzbysz on 'Lyric' is an album highlight as is the reworking of Harrold's 'Wayfaring Traveler' (from his Mugician album) with Aga Czyz sitting in for Georgia Anne Muldrow and Jermaine Holmes.  Conversely, the latter (Holmes) excels on 'All Connected' but the real gem of the album may very well be the elegant 'Love in Tragedy' which is such a beautiful song and utilises Czyz's understated vocal so perfectly.

We're very much hoping that this marks the first of a series of albums for Keyon Harrold and Sylwester Ostrowski under the banner of the Culture Revolution Project as their conversation is an absolute joy!

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