Thursday, January 27, 2011

Zbigniew Seifert - Man of Light (1976) by Maciej Nowotny

This is a note for absolute beginners in Polish jazz: welcome :-))) Perhaps you feel a little awkward when entering a world where there is so many difficult signs in musicians' names: ę, ą, ś, ć, ż, ź and others. But fortunately the grammar and spelling of jazz music is all the same around the world so if you pass by these opening obstacles, you will find further there beauties beyond description. And this is not only my opinion by opinion of many non-Polish experts worldwide. 
But if it is your first contact with Polish jazz so where should you start? Let me recommend you three recordings from different times and different musicians (though closely bound to each other): 
1) Krzysztof Komeda - "Astigmatic" (1965)
2) Tomasz Stańko - "Leosia" (1997)
3) Zbigniew Seifert -  "Man of Light"(1976)
and I would start with Seifert recording being inyour place. It is dedicated to McCoy Tyner and is as energetic as it is refined. Seifert is showing his genius here in full blossom, his violin unsurpassed by any other jazz violinist previously or after. Accompanied by fantastic set of musicians in persons of Cecil McBee (bass), Billy Hart (drums), Joachim Kuhn and Jasper vant't Hof (on pianos). Immortal music, not in slightest degree outdated, its CD reissue has been chosen by John Kelman from allaboutjazz as one of the best recordings in 2010 regardless it has pass almost 35 years since it was recorded!!!
Check links for source articles:
and another one with sample of music from this magnificent album:

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