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VARIOUS ARTISTS ~ POLISH RADIO JAZZ ARCHIVES VOL.14
POLSKIE RADIO 1664 (Barcode: 5907812246648) ~ POLAND ~ Jazz

Recorded: 1963 Released: 2014

This is the fourteenth installment in the new series of releases initiated by the Polish Radio, which presents archive Jazz recordings. Radio recordings are always a fabulous source of remarkable material, and as far as Polish Jazz history is concerned, the Polish Radio, which was a state monopoly for 45 years, recorded over time a plethora of invaluable material, which apart from the albums released by the Polskie Nagrania record company (also a state monopoly), is the only available additional source of Polish Jazz recordings. For many years Polish Radio recorded concerts presented during Poland´s most important Jazz venues, including the annual Jazz Jamboree Festival and many other festivals as well.

The material collected here presents the third volume of recordings made in 1963 during the sixth Jazz Jamboree festival in Warsaw. In contrast to the two earlier volumes, this one presents only Polish Jazz musicians, and therefore is by far the most interesting and enlightening of the three. In many respects this album is a comprehensive review of the Polish Jazz scene at the time and presents the early days of the modern Polish Jazz at its pivotal stage of forming its own identity, as far as sound, atmosphere, character and unique stylistic aesthetics are concerned.

The album includes just six tracks, by four different ensembles, playing expanded compositions, three of which cross the fifteen minutes duration time, a clear signal of creativity and improvisational freedom typical of modern Jazz. The ensembles are: Zbigniew NamyslowskiFind albums by this artist (saxophone) quartet with pianist Wlodek GulgowskiFind albums by this artist, bassist Tadeusz WojcikFind albums by this artist and drummer Czeslaw BartkowskiFind albums by this artist (one track), Andrzej TrzaskowskiFind albums by this artist (piano) quintet with saxophonists Zbigniew Namyslowski and Michal UrbaniakFind albums by this artist, bassist Juliusz SandeckiFind albums by this artist (here misspelled as Julian) and drummer Adam JedrzejowskiFind albums by this artist (two tracks), Alek MusialFind albums by this artist (trumpet) quintet with vibraphonist Ryszard KruzaFind albums by this artist, pianist Wlodzimierz NahornyFind albums by this artist, bassist Wieslaw DamieckiFind albums by this artist and drummer Bogdan JopekFind albums by this artist (one track) and finally Krzysztof KomedaFind albums by this artist (piano) quintet with trumpeter Tomasz StankoFind albums by this artist, saxophonist Michal Urbaniak, bassist Maciej SuzinFind albums by this artist and drummer Czeslaw Bartkowski (two tracks). Of the six compositions three are standards and three are originals, one by Trzaskowski and two by Komeda.

Stylistically the music is quite similar, ranging from more traditionally based modern Jazz in case of the Namyslowski and Musial tracks to more advanced characteristic Polish Jazz material in case in of the music by Trzaskowski and finally most dramatically in the music by Komeda, which is already eons ahead of its time. The two Komeda tracks are the epitome of modern Polish / European Jazz, which clearly show a mature approach free of the restrictions imposed by the American Jazz tradition. These tracks are alone worth the price of the entire album, but of course the rest of the material is also quite excellent.

The beautifully restored sound quality is excellent and the warm ambience of the analog recording is a true joy. As usual with this series, which is very reasonably priced, I miss the presence of "in depth" liner notes / booklet, which should convey the circumstances at which this music was recorded and its importance to the development of Jazz in Poland. Nevertheless this is an absolutely essential piece of Jazz history which every Jazz fan will surely consider an absolute must.
Updated: 02/12/2016Posted: CD 1 Digipak Remastered Recommend To A Friend

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