Forthright Stories

text: Storm Bakker

picture: Filip Błażejowsk


Right from the first song 'Brown', a delighted four-four quadruple, the music of Kasia attracts the listeners attention by force. The album has -despite being recorded in the studio- a wonderful dynamic live feeling. It is as if Kasia and her companions (drummer Piotr Budniak and double bass player Corcoran Holt, apart from cellist Julia Kotarba in one song) are simply sitting in the living room with the listener. As is usually the case - when a pianist takes care of the compositions- everything is harmoniously fine. Moreover, “all the wood is behind one arrow” with this trio and both the rhythmic accuracy of the bass player and the drummer are a relief from start to finish. But above all, Kasia's music is authentic and genuine and full of inspiration.

Dulcimer board

‘Fortright Stories’ consists of nine compositions from Kasia itself, and tells an impressive and coherent story as a suite. They are "fragments of various extreme emotions," as Kaisa says in her liner notes, "important moments and breakthroughs of my life." Artistic mosaics interspersed with elaborate modal passages that are dynamically built up with fiery bass and drums, then alternated with dreamy Nordic soundscapes.

Her compositional decisions are constantly the right ones in our ears. Particularly in track 8 (Episode III), a piano solo based on a bass pedaldrone in the left hand and modal-melodic musings in the right hand, with trance trill ornaments and dulcimer-like techniques, it is precisely the keyboard work that we are waiting for. Finally, she ends up in a redeeming modulation, after which she concludes with a dramatic closing argument, in which jazz is definitively abandoned and elements from classical and ethno-musicological music are applied. Doing so, Kasia Pietrzko finally nestles in our hearts as a playful muse.


As we say over here: "Hats off to 'Katarzyna!"' She released her debut album with the support of Berndorf Näderbau and seven leading Polish jazz organizations in 2017. 'Fortright Stories' was conceived, arranged and produced by the young, playful-looking pianist herself and is -sound-recorded in the Monochrom Studio- simply fantastic. Janus Rószanski's coverdesign with photography by Jarek Rerych deserves a big compliment. A digipak with a tasteful booklet, everything in black and white and regarding its typography unambiguous, a concept that Kasia has clearly thought about. In her own words: "The simplicity of black and white and its expertise are building graphical consonance with sounds, resulting in one entity."


We already saw Kasia Pietrzko in the BIMHUIS Amsterdam in September 2019 (at the festival '12 Points') and we are looking forward to the return of the Polish piano virtuoso to the Netherlands. On Friday evening, May 15, the Kasia Pietrzko Trio will perform at theater De Lieve Vrouw during the Amersfoort Jazz festival, where she is endorsed as a laureate by the Polish partner Szczecin Jazz.