Joanna Morea interview 26.09.2017

Joanna Morea i Ja Czerwiec 2017

Joanna Morea i Ja fot.AK

She sings swing in Polish and this is a WOW! already. Not everyone can do this! A traveller by passion, Joanna Morea has her heart in jazz and is now promoting her album “Crazy people”. My short question and answer with Asia [Joanna] on that album is kind of a sum up of my radio interview with her, which I ran a couple of months ago.


Arkadiusz Kałucki: You have several music projects and jazz festivals to your credit. Now you are promoting your latest album “Crazy People”. Who is your target? Who are your fans? How can you profile them?

Joanna Morea: Judging by my direct observations of the audiences attending my concerts, be it regulars or occasional comers, hearing from people who write to me, whereby I know what they think and feel when they listen to my tune, I may not be mistaken to say that they are music gourmets, lovers of music of all colours, music which is not necessarily commercial. They are listeners, acute and perceptive and not the ones who take music as a backdrop for something. They have fun with this music since they naturally embrace and take in the joy encapsulated in a phrase or chord progression. They are clearly true and passionate lovers of lively music played live. I believe that those most committed fans have a strong liking or even love for swing. You have to know how to get this special feeling, get it rather than label this or that. And that is quite a different cup of tea. I also believe that my songs are so arranged that they will reach attention of not only those who are into more refined repertoire already but attract beginners to the beauty and subtleness of swing and jazz.

Arkadiusz Kałucki: You sing swing in Polish on your new album, or at least most songs are in that language. Was that the hardest challenge you’ve had while preparing this music material?

Joanna: This, indeed, was one of the most difficult part of that project. The difficulty is not so much in the technical aspect of performing – though yes, maybe it is to some extent – as in the feeling, in such a rendering of Polish lyrics that the songs sound light and free, they swing and sway in a natural way, both in terms of phrasing and wording. What I’m talking about is ‘harshness’, I mean, Polish is not a smooth-sounding language. This also is about collaboration with the band, most notably the rhythm section, which is great on the album, and with them on your side, with such perfect swinging musicians, it is much easier to achieve this natural “swaying” effect.

Joanna Morea 2a fot. Sławomir Nakoneczny (PIła)

Joanna Morea fot. Sławomir Nakoneczny(PIła)

Arkadiusz Kałucki: Among several lyricists who wrote for you is Marek Gaszyński (i.a. Sen o Warszawie, Nie zadzieraj nosa, Gdzie się podziały tamte prywatki), a music journalist as well. How did it happen that you started working with such a renowned lyricist? Did he write songs specially for you?

Joanna: I met Mark quite a while ago. I believed then that such a big name, a journalism star, an excellent lyricist and speaker would never give a hoot about someone like me, a jazz flautist singing only in some places. But he did. He came up to me at a concert telling me that he was impressed with what I’m doing and asking if I could write music to his lyrics. And so it happened. He wrote lyrics to the song “Personal Freedom” on “Crazy People” album specially for me. When I read them first, I couldn’t help crying.

Arkadiusz Kałucki: Some big names of Polish jazz are involved in “Crazy People” album: Urszula Dudziak, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Robert Majewski. Let us please get some behind-the-scenes info on how it came about that you had them involved in this album. How did your collaboration in the studio look like?

Joanna: It’s quite a commonly asked question. I knew Ula [Urszula Dudziak] before this project. We met once and made music together for a while, and there is no better thing to get people close together than having fun with music. Ula is so full of joy and optimism that even though I felt deeply scared and worried for a couple of days before the recordings began, the session went surprisingly well – the atmosphere was fabulous, full of mutual respect and admiration, with no stress whatsoever. That was clearly thanks to Ula, but, in fact, the same thing was with Zbyszek [Zbigniew] Namysłowski and Robert Majewski. It is Dymitr Markiewicz who brought their attention to me and my music. I was doubtless scared to death of their judgment of my compositions and renderings. But there is a good side of it – the prize tastes better. Both gentlemen turned out to be very kind and outgoing musicians and colleagues. Now, after a few concerts I had with Robert Majewski, I can’t get over how straightforward and approachable he is while being such a top-notch musician.

Arkadiusz Kałucki: How many songs did you have to slash from “Crazy People” because there was no room for them? Will you come back to them with your next album?

Joanna: How many did I not contain? And how many are still waiting their turn? There are a few, at least. I’m like a volcano, so to speak. This is how Michał Kulenty (R.I.P) labelled me once. Enormous pressure builds up beneath the surface of the earth, and then, one day, should the conditions allow, the lava blows out with all its force. I myself also take long to make recordings for an album, getting involved in a variety of projects before that. There is so much material now as there is pressure underground before the lava eruption. I can now close myself in the studio for months. So, once my first album is out, it should be followed by a number of new eruptions, if we are to live by this volcanic philosophy. Luckily, I have plans and these plans are for the following summer already.

Arkadiusz Kałucki: I have to ask you about concerts promoting the album. How are the preparations going and where can we see and hear you soon?

Joanna: I’m currently engaged in several different projects, so I can’t focus solely on the live promotion of “Crazy People”. We’ll come back to the whole of that music after summer holidays. Still, I’ll be performing at a few jazz festivals and will play and sing some of the compositions in different setups. I think one of the most interesting events will be the International Festival of Trad Jazz “Hot Jazz Spring 2017” in Częstochowa, as early as on 4 June 2017. We’ll join the formation Dymitr Markiewicz & His All Stars (PL/NL/S/GB) and this is where I will be singing Crazy People along with a Swedish jazz megastar Gunhild Carling.

Arkadiusz Kałucki: What stage of your career are you at now? How would you describe it?

Joanna: At the starting point. This is the beginning of the grand eruption (hahaha). Up until now, I have only played and composed. Now a new stage has started: the recording. It does not rule out the other activities but complements them. My best moments are still ahead of me.

Arkadiusz Kałucki: Thanks for the interview and see you at concerts.

Joanna Morea: Many thanks. Welcome to wherever I’ll be performing.

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