Thursday 20 June 2024

'Beyond Motion' by Katarina Kochetova

'Beyond Motion' marks the debut full-length from the imagination of pianist, Katarina Kochetova, making her introductions by way of the Italian label, A.MA Records.

And what an introduction!  Kochetova's album - which also sees the gifted artist helm composition duties for the project - showcases her innate ability to create beautiful pieces of music presenting the rich elegance of neo-classical inspirations while still serving as inspired celebrations of contemporary and free jazz.

As a highly educated and decorated artist, Kochetova has been steadily honing her craft for some years now.  As a bandleader and frequent collaborator to a multitude of artists and musicians, Kochetova's expedition into her own connection with jazz has seen her continue to embrace her education, now on the cusp of securing a Masters of Music in Vienna, as well as grace stages across Europe.  In fact, hers is something of a voracious touring schedule having chalked up nearly a hundred dates in 2023 alone with performances in jazz clubs and festivals across Vienna, Barcelona and Stockholm.

Whether under the guise of her trio arrangement or the more expansive Katerina Kochetova Quintet, the pianist seems to continue to relish the concept of exploration in her music be it through writing, collaboration or performing.  With such pure-of-heart intentions, the stage is set for a thoughtful and inspired project in 'Beyond Motion' that takes tremendous creative strides alongside some phenomenally-talented musicians.

Joining Kochetova on piano, the core trio for 'Beyond Motion' is further comprised of double bassist Hugo Lof and drummer Matheus Jardim, with guest saxophonists Jure Pukl and Joander Cruz each appearing on two tracks apiece.  The music across the album's ten tracks is really sensationally brought to life through impassioned performances that really showcase the best of the project's contributors.  From the sublime gems like 'Directions (In Time)' and 'Eternal Goodbyes' to the more spirited 'Holmstock' or the brilliant intricacies of the album highlight 'UntitEled#4', Kochetova masterfully leads the way for a fantastic album that bursts with inspiration and creativity.

It is a shame that 'Beyond Motion' doesn't take the opportunity to showcase Katarina Kochetova's talents as a stunning vocalist in her own right and I would encourage you to look up the elegant 'Goodbye My Love' from 2016 on YouTube which pairs Kochetova on vocals and piano alongside bassist Miloš Čolović.  A beautiful song.

'Beyond Motion' delivers as a fascinating and engaging step within Katarina Kochetova's ongoing journey into jazz's intricate musical make-up.  And what will make this journey forever engaging to listeners going forward is Kochetova's complete understanding that as in most great stories, the spoils aren't always found in the destination but in the journey itself.  And for this entry into Kochetova's journey that is being recounted throughout 'Beyond Motion', you'll find an absolute joy.

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