Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Jerzy Milian - Ashkhabad Girl (2009)

From time to time I feel like it is good to go back to history of Polish jazz although the idea of this blog is rather to keep attention on new recordings. However we all know that jazz would be all less interesting without its constant referring to tradition. The opportunity of going back is given to me by new disc of Jerzy Milian, Polish virtuoso vibraphonist, containing his material from years 1967-1972. 
Who is Milian? He was born in Poznań in 1935 and graduated first in architecture but then gradually moved to music similarly to Komeda who as you perhaps remember graduated from Medical Faculty. In early fifties in Poland jazz in fact barely started from the scratch after all its pre-war beginnings were shattered during WWII. No professional musicians, no eduction, no support from the state which treated jazz as part of capitalistic propaganda. Nonetheless the jazz developed quickly because it became in Poland very popular among public, which in those days treated it mostly as en vogue dance and party music. And this exactly is where Milian started his adventure with jazz creating with time his own orchestra which specialized in popular and dancing tunes. They performed mostly in students' clubs where they were spotted by Krzysztof Komeda, somebody of the importance in Polish jazz to Miles Davis in American, and so the Krzysztof Komeda Sextet was created, one of the most important bands in history of Polish jazz. Since then he was a member of countless jazz projects in Poland, cooperating with the most eminent Polish jazzmen, though always tending to be interested in popular side of jazz. This perhaps was a cause that in early 70ties when jazz lost much of its audience Milian became less creative and eventually almost vanished from the scene.
If you happen to like to know more about this exceptional musician please read very well written note in English on the following blog:
Below small sample of his music, not from this album, but excactly in his style:

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