Monika BORZYM (born march 3rd 1990)

At fifteen, after two years studying the piano at the Frederic Chopin State Music School in Warsaw, Monika left for the United States in order to get a grip of the language. The vast choice of activities offered by the American high school system gave her a chance to further her musical education, at the same time allowing her to dive into contemporary American music. As part of the school big band she took part in a big band festival in New Trire, IN. It was there that she attended a concert of the festival’s special guest, Terrence Blanchard playing with Aaron Parks on the piano and Eric Harland on drums. This performance had an enormous impact on Monika’s development in the coming years. She decided to quickly get a high school diploma in Poland in order to return to the States and continue her musical education there. Having received a full scholarship at the Frost School of Music in Miami, Monika could concentrate on perfecting her vocal skills without having to sacrifice her interests in other areas of music.

After returning to Poland Monika received an invitation from Michał Urbaniak to sing at the inauguration of the Jazz Jamboree festival in Warsaw. Being the only woman performing at the concert, as well as the youngest performer and an electrifying singer, she could not have gone unnoticed. Soon after that she received a three-album contract proposition from a Sony executive who was in the audience.

Together with New York producer Matt Pierson they recorded Monika’s solo debut album – Girl Talk. It was described by the critics as a stylish collection of hit contemporary songs turned into intriguing and jazzy ballads. This was accomplished with the help of the four-time Grammy Award winner, arranger Gil Goldstein, as well as brilliant musicians such as Aaron Parks, Larry Grenadier or Eric Harland, who supplied the album with its truly world-class sound. Girl Talk was an enormous success, going platinum almost instantly.

1. “You Know You’re No Good” (originally by Amy Winehouse)
2. “Extraordinary Machine” (originally by Fiona Apple)
3. “Even So” (originally by Rachael Yamagata)
4. “American Boy” (originally by Estelle)
5. “Field Below” (originally by Reginy Spektor)
6. “Appletree” (originally by Erykah Badu)
7. “Down Here Below” (originally by Abbey Lincoln)
8. “Gatekeeper” (originally by Feist)
9. “The Dry Cleaner from Des Moines” (originally by Joni Mitchell)
10. “Abololo” (originally by Marisa Monte)
11. “Possibly Maybe” (originally by Bjork)
12. “Thank You” (originally by Dido)

Also featuring acclaimed American artists:
Gil Goldstein – piano
Aaron Parks – piano
Steve Cardenas – guitar
Larry Grenadier – bass
Eric Harland – percussion
Bashiri Johnson, Rogerio Boccato – percussion
Greg Gisbert – trumpet
Mike Davis – trombone
Seamus Blake – saxophone
Charles Pillow – clarinet
Aaron Heick – flute
Lois Martin – viola
Jody Redhage - cello

Two years later Sony released her second album, containing songs written and composed by Monika together with the pianist Mariusz Obijalski. It came as a surprise and an honor that Randy Brecker, Chris Potter and John Scofield all accepted their invitations to work on this project, making an exceptional contribution to the album. The new disc, My Place, went gold within a week of its release.

1. “Falling
music by Mariusz Obijalski, lyrics by Monika Borzym, Karlina Covington
2. “Tidal Wave
music by Mariusz Obijalski, lyrics by Monika Borzym, Rebecca Martin, Karlina Covington
3. “Only Girl in the World
Crystal Johnson, Mikkel S. Eriksen, Tor Erik Hermansen, Sandy Wilhelm (by Rihanna)
4. “My Place
music by Mariusz Obijalski, lyrics by Monika Borzym, Karlina Covington
5. “Finding Her Way
music by Mariusz Obijalski, lyrics by Karlina Covington
6. “Pisces
music by Mariusz Obijalski, lyrics by Monika Borzym, Chad Harmon
7. “Unrequited
music by Mariusz Obijalski, lyrics by Monika Borzym, Rebecca Martin
8. “Off to Sea
music by Mariusz Obijalski, lyrics by Karlina Covington
9. “The Quiet Crowd
Patrick Watson
10. “In The Name Of Love
Kenny Rankin
11. “Prelude
music by Mariusz Obijalski
12. “Świat w proszku
music by Mariusz Obijalski, lyrics by Anna Michalska
13. "Timeless"
music by Mariusz Obijalski, lyrics by Monika Borzym, Karlina Covington, Marcel Wojdyło

Mariusz Obijalski - piano, keyboard
Steve Cardenas - guitar
Larry Campbell - acoustic guitar, dobro
Tony Scherr - basses
Kenny Wollesen - drums and vibes
Bashiri Johnson - percussion
Dave Eggar - cello

Featuring:
John Scofield - guitar ("Falling", "Only Girl in the World")
Romero Lubambo - acoustic guitar ("The Quiet Crowd")
Chris Potter - saxophone ("My Place", " Pisces", "In the Name of Love")
Randy Brecker - flugelhorn ("Unrequited", "Świat w proszku")

Produced by Matt Pierson
Recorded and mixed by Chris Allen at Sear Sound, NYC
Digital editing by Matt Pierson
Mastered by Mark Wilder at Battery Studios, NYC