THE QUEEN OF THE ELECTRIC BASS IS BACK
“I don’t sing so well, that’s why I play bass,” says Kinga Glyk. A surprisingly modest statement considering the interest she’s been generating for the past two years. Nevertheless, the words of the Polish bassist sum up precisely the essence of her new album Feelings. With unmatched virtuosity and nonchalance, she lets her bass tell stories. Sensitive and penetrating, rich in nuances and groove, she provokes sensations. She strikes a chord with her listeners, calls upon personal stories and reflects the personality of a highly talented young woman. She also has the courage to experiment, to try new things and to grow regardless of the rules. “As a child, I was interested in the bass because it gave me an unusually powerful voice,” Kinga recalls of her early days as an instrumentalist. “Its sounds became my own language. Thanks to it, I can express my feelings with more intensity.” Certainly! But her bass playing is not just about going higher, faster or further. Kinga Glyk doesn’t play for the musicians, but for the tens of thousands of souls she has touched in her young career. Her stories reveal an extremely open, loving and caring worldview. In short, the twelve tracks on her new album are deeply human, and that’s what makes Feelings so unique.
Kinga Glyk describes Feelings as her most personal work to date. A look at the writers of the new tracks reveals why: she wrote seven songs alone, and two more with her pianist and producer Pawel Tomaszewski. “Unlike my previous album Dream, I didn’t just improvise in the studio with my band,” Kinga explains about the creation of Feelings, “Before I started recording, I worked out my compositions in more detail.” Kinga’s music didn’t become more cerebral, however. On the contrary, right from the opening track “Let’s Play Some Funky Groove”, she sets up a number of sequences to warm up the atmosphere. Her fingers don’t hold still and slap the beat in her organic interpretation of the Minneapolis sound, before diving into drum’n’bass. “Lennie’s Pennies”, composed by Lennie Tristano, turns into a groovy monster under the impetus of Kinga and her formidable trio: the solos are brilliant, devoid of improvisation clichés, and the whole thing is tight. Brett Williams, Marcus Miller’s keyboardist, sets Kinga on fire with the funky “Joy Joy” and whips up a jazzy rock’n’roll version of “Mercy” (Duffy). Montreal’s Anomalie, keyboardist and self-proclaimed “dance music artist”, dresses up Kinga’s “5 Cookies” with his funk by covering the riff of Rick James’ “Superfreak”.
In “What Is Life,” the centerpiece of Feelings, Kinga Glyk asks, “What would we be without feelings? They give us so many experiences, they educate us, sometimes causing pain or joy. Emotions – without them, we would be empty. Words are not always able to express our feelings… Unlike music.” His spoken-word introduction extends into the musical expression of his credo and combines his freewheeling approach to jazz with narrative explosions inspired by R’n’B and folk. The journey offered by Feelings, Kinga’s new album, ends with “Enu Maseti”, a ballad in an imaginary language that once again underlines the album’s uniqueness. Great emotions can go hand in hand with improvisation. They can even encourage freedom and break conventions. Kinga Glyk has been proving this for some time: in the last two years she has attracted the attention of fans, TV and radio producers, YouTube users, journalists, festival organizers and club owners. She can give you goosebumps just by stroking the steel strings of her bass. And not just because she is a young, hyper-talented soloist in a profession dominated by male instrumentalists, but because Kinga Glyk represents that autonomy of the bass. For all these reasons, Feelings is a total success.
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