Mr Scrooge is the third recording from music maestro and label owner Ryszard Kramarski's solo project tRK Project and after 2018s retrospective Sounds From The Past (see review), the group returns to a literary theme as in the first effort, which took its inspiration from The Little Prince. In this case Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol provides the impetus. Fans of the previous issues will be delighted to note that the lineup is substantially the same with Krzysztof Wyrwa coming in on bass. In particular fans of Karolina Leszko (of which I am rapidly becoming one) will be pleased to note that she is again behind the microphone, and is superb as ever, although her talents are sorely under-utilised on this release.
Unfortunately, compared to the joyful energy of the previous release of juvenilia, this is something of a disappointment, adding nothing to the original concept and lacking in the warmth and festive feeling of the original story. Despite some stellar performances from the band, notably some scintillating guitar workouts from Martin Kruczek the piece rarely manages to detach itself from a plodding over-literal slice of musical theatre, and too often descends into sentimental navel-gazing. I'm going to keep this short because I like a lot of what I have heard from tRK Project and Ryszard Kramarski's other projects. The musicians on this release all put in excellent performances but, as Horace remarked “bonus dormitat Homerus.” (“Even the mighty Homer drops off”) and I'm afraid this one never really wakes up. Despite the best efforts of all involved there is no revelation and certainly no resurrection of what I am afraid is something of a clunker.
In short this is not a great addition to the palmares of Mr Kramarski. Perhaps history will treat it well, I hope so, but in all honesty I can't recommend other than to check out other releases from these excellent musicians.
** Andrew Cottrell
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