by Constance Tucker
Butterflies is the first studio album from Polish vocalist Basia in 9 years. The singer has described it as an album “about love – for life, for music and for people” and her jazziest record yet. Originally set to be called Be.Pop, after one of the songs and as a reference to subgenre of jazz music, but her record company wasn’t keen on the idea. To compromise, Basia suggested Be.Pop Butterfly, but ultimately the title was changed to Butterflies. Two songs on the album contain the word ‘butterfly’, including “Liang & Zhu” which tells about the butterfly lovers from a Chinese legend.
The lead single from Butterflies, “Matteo,” hit on April 6, 2018. The got its first legs in album Japan on May 16, 2018 through Shanachie and P-Vine Records, with an alternate cover. The rest of the globe got its taste on May 18, 2018, and in Poland, the album was made available for streaming a week in advance and was then released on other platforms by Shanachie and Magic Records, a subsidiary of Universal Music. No matter how the timing fell, Basia fans were ignited. The album features: Bass – Andres Lafone; Drums – Marc Parnell; Guitar – Giorgio Serci, Peter White; Piano, keyboards – Danny White; Vocals – Basia, Mark Reilly and special guest the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music Big Band.
“Bubble,” is an effervescent tune, offset by a driving hook by pianist Danny White. Basia sounds inspired per usual, her easy on the ears voice rings with Basia truth and pop sensibilities. This indeed is her jazziest offering to date, but certainly pinned in the pop-jazz genre, but none less enjoyable.
Since the album was almost titled “Be.Pop,” I had to talk about this tune. Backed by the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music Big Band it pops and snaps with energy. The horn lines are tight and well conversed. Basia expels her saucy side with some jump and jive lyrics and a touch of rebellion. Her scatting does measure up, variations on scale and arpeggio fragments add up to a great listen.
It’s great to see Basia back at it again, long overdue. However you desire to categorize this album is fine by me. An artist who has been enthralling audiences since 1986 as a solo career artist. Each track runs the gamut, which is certainly not unexpected Basia has always followed her own truth.