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NOVI ~ NOVI IN WONDERLAND
MPS 2541 (Barcode: 4988005209900) ~ POLAND ~ Jazz

Recorded: 1968 Released: 1998

This is a Japanese reissue of the legendary album by the no less legendary Polish Jazz vocal quartet NOVIFind albums by this artist, led by vocalist / composer Bernard KawkaFind albums by this artist, which also included Ewa WanatFind albums by this artist, Waldemar ParzynskiFind albums by this artist and Janusz MychFind albums by this artist. On this album they are accompanied by a rhythm section, which comprises of Polish pianist Adam MatyszkowiczFind albums by this artist (a.k.a. Adam MakowiczFind albums by this artist) and bassist Roman DylagFind albums by this artist and American (resident in Europe since 1964) drummer Billy BrooksFind albums by this artist. American trumpeter Idrees SuleimanFind albums by this artist and Polish saxophonist Zbigniew NamyslowskiFind albums by this artist participate on selected tracks. The album presents five original compositions, three by Kawka and two by Parzynski, and four standards, three arranged by Parzynski and one by Kawka.

The album was produced by my friend and mentor, Joachim BerendtFind albums by this artist, and was recorded at the celebrated SABA studio in Villingen, Black Forest, where so many of the great European Jazz albums were recorded between mid-1960s and late 1970s. It was one of the first recordings of a Polish Jazz ensemble made outside is their country and across the Iron Curtain, which was a sensational occurrence at the time. Berendt, who was an avid Polish Jazz lover and supporter, helped the Polish Jazz scene tremendously during its hard times. Sadly he is rarely remembered today, which is of course a crying shame.

Musically as well and sonically this is definitely one of the best recordings by NOVI, recorded at their creative peak. Chronologically this was their second album, but since it was not released in Poland (and still is not available there) it is not usually counted as part of their Polish discography. Both the vocal and the instrumental parts are absolutely perfect and are part on the vocal Jazz canon, created earlier on by the French vocal Jazz ensembles Les Double SixFind albums by this artist and The Swingle SingersFind albums by this artist.

The original vinyl copy of this album is a mega-rare collectors´ item and is priced accordingly. This Japanese reissue is also pretty rare these days. For Polish Jazz collectors and faithful fans, this is an absolute must of course.
Side Note
The legendary German MPSFind albums on this label (Musik Produktion Schwarzwald) label, founded by Hans Georg Brunner-SchwerFind albums by this artist (HGBS) in 1963, first as SABAFind albums on this label Records and later on from 1968 as MPS Records, was the most important independent European record label, which had an enormous contribution to the development of European Jazz. For many years MPS cooperated with the legendary German producer / author Joachim BerendtFind albums by this artist, my friend and mentor, whose visionary approach and open-mindedness brought the crème de la crème of the Jazz (in the broadest meaning of the word) musicians from all over the world to the label. Between 1963 and 1983 MPS produced about five hundred albums, many of which are among the most important Jazz recordings on this planet.

In 1983 the MPS catalog was sold to UniversalFind albums on this label, which sadly resulted in all those artistic treasures to almost disappear from the face of the earth – a situation not only tragic but culturally criminal. Universal reissued only very few MPS albums on CD over the years.

Since 2008 the German Promising MusicFind albums on this label label is releasing some of the MPS recordings, but at a very slow pace.

In 2014 the German company Edel AG bought the MPS catalogue from Universal and released a series of 25 MPS albums on CD with a new slipcase graphic design, which brought all those excellent albums back to life. In 2015 Edel AG started to record and release new albums under the MPS moniker. In 2016 Edel AG released a series of 10 classic MPS albums on CD, which were beautifully remastered and re-packaged, presenting the original artwork and liner notes, as well as new liner notes and photographs. An obvious labor of love, these reissues are what the MPS catalogue truly deserves. This project was continued in 2017 with another series of 10 classic MPS albums released on CD.
Updated: 27/05/2018Posted: 14/07/2017CD 1 Recommend To A Friend

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