Dynamic duo Kornel Wolak and Chris Donnelly have released their debut album Common Ground with Alma Records!
“The choice of album title for this debut release by the duo of Kornel Wolak and Chris Donnelly is a fitting one. You see, pianist Donnelly is an acclaimed Juno-nominated jazz artist, while Polish-born clarinettist Wolak (formerly with Quarteto Gelato) is in demand internationally as a classical player. Together, they forge a beautifully melodic sound encompassing both worlds.
Their repertoire ranges from Brahms to Gershwin (a “Porgy and Bess” medley) to Oscar Peterson’s “Hymn To Freedom”, all given a fresh twist. The production work of Peter Cardinali is typically clean. The duo has already toured the Maritimes and Western Canada with real distinction, and will launch the disc with a May 2 Toronto performance at Steinway Hall.”
– Kerry Doole, NewCanadianMusic.ca
“On the album are the first and final movements of Johannes Brahms’ great Clarinet Sonata, Op. 120. The light-fingered Donnelly finds the right gravitas for this music, while never letting it get too heavy. He then turns around and gives a sparkling and touching rendition of Oscar Peterson’s great Hymn to Freedom.
Wolak’s clarinet is pure silk in a medley of tunes from Porgy and Bess, jazzy in Rhapsody in Blue, also by George Gershwin, and virtuosically rambunctious in the pop chestnut Tico-Tico No Fuba.
The eight tracks make for a short visit with this winsome twosome, and the mix of styles speaks directly to lighter summer listening — right for right now.”
– John Terauds, Musical Toronto
The album was produced by Peter Cardinali and recorded and mixed by John “Beetle” Bailey at the Drive Shed, Toronto with photography by Olivia Cardinali, design by Marianne Van de Leygraaf and piano Technician Akos Prekop.