Imprints is the debut album of piano player Vit Kristan, whose project boasts a piano trio core of extraordinary calibre. Kristan’s jazz is not new to Expedition Audio – and neither is the work of his bass-wielding trio mate Jaromir Honzak; three of their albums have been recommended on this site.
Kristan saw incredible success as a member of the young jazz quintet Inner Spaces, whose album Light Year was awarded the Angel prize for best jazz album in 2012. Kristan also participated in recording Honzak’s Blood Sings, a beautiful collection of Suzanne Vega covers also nominated for the Angel prize. It shouldn’t be surprising to hear that Imprints, Light Year and Blood Sings were all produced by the superb Czech jazz label Animal Music.
Vit Kristan’s compositional style is distinct across Scandinavian, Polish, Czech and New York City jazz influences, as well as guest instrumentation. Its story telling quality, melodic and harmonic complexity, and tonal/atonal balance are the most recognizable traits. On Imprints, the musicians give us so much depth to explore without ever losing track of where they’re taking us with each tune, or the album as whole. And that’s where this group succeeds: combining their talent and diversity to make a cohesive collection out of delightful originals.
To name a few: “Open Ground” heads into modern fusion territory in a rock idiom, led by electric guitar and keyboards. Trumpet player Oskar Torok has a gorgeous tone and his solos on “Lost Things” command your attention, especially after the tranquility of “Dreams” and “Magnolia”. Sombre “Snáře”, featuring Kristan singing a folk tune with lullaby warmth, backed Oskar Torok on Harmon Muted trumpet, is stunning; it’s beauty gave me goosebumps.
In summary, Imprints is an aural journey worth experiencing. I look forward to hearing more of Kristan’s work, and to more golden albums by Animal Music. Bravo.
The debut album by a young pianist Vít Kristan, a member of a successful jazz quintet Inner Spaces, is made of 12 Kristan’s own compositions. They were recorded after Kristan graduated from his music studies in Poland and Denmark and the composer describes his inspiration sources as follows: “All compositions were inspired by my experience, places I’ve visited and people I’ve met and may be seen as imprints of my memories and experience.”
Jaromir Honzak (double bass, bass guitar)
Vit Kristan (piano, Fender Rhodes, keyboards, vocal)
Roman Vicha (drums, percussion)
… and guests: Oskar Torok (trumpet), Marek Kadziela(guitar), and Agnieszka Twardoch (vocal)