Album “Essence” is a unique project released in 2014 under Hevhetia Publishing House that pays tribute to the Slovak folklore music carefully rearranged into modern jazz. All songs are musically overseen by Ondrej Krajnak, Slovak jazz piano virtuoso.
This unique album brings together some of the best musicians from Slovakia and the Czech Republic, with each of them bringing their unique style and culture into the interpretation of these much-loved folklore tunes from various regions of Slovakia creating a powerful cocktail of raw emotions for the audience.
Ondrej Krajnak's piano interpretations of these songs are full of surprises, supported by the brilliant rhythm section of Josef Feco on double bass, Marian Sevcik on drums & Stefan Bugala on percussions. The playful interaction between cymbalo and violin by Josef Feco and Ivan Herak's folklore band brings almost forgotten Slovak folklore tunes back to life.
Hanka G's captivating velvety alto voice and Radovan Tariska's stellar play on alto saxophone, complete the arrangement beautifully, adding a stamp of originality and jazz authenticity to the final mixture of musical warmth and fireworks.
"The second album “Essence” presents a beautiful tribute to Slovak Folklore and is a classic example of what Jazz-World Fusion is all about and how it can be achieved successfully. Both World music and jazz idioms are given respectful and graceful treatment and are mixed with elegance and charm. Hanka has a warm, well-rounded voice that works both in the Jazz and the Folklore environment. Her phrasing of the Jazzy interpretations is simply superb. Overall, this is an aesthetically pleasing and musically successful cross-genre project, which manages to be original, while respectfully presenting traditional folkloristic heritage…"
Adam Baruch, Israel, one of the world's leading authorities in Jazz, is a writer, critic, historian, researcher, teacher, broadcaster, discographer, photographer, concert and festival organizer, record producer, label owner, and music activist. Adam founded the Israel Jazz Society (IJS) and was also active in establishing the European Jazz Federation (EJF), which later became the International Jazz Federation.