Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Kazimierz Jonkisz - Top Six Outsider (Polish Jazz Vol. 71, 1987)

Volume nr 71 in great Polish Jazz series (which i got thanks to brings us music which sounds as fresh now as it did on the day of its recording 25 years before. A bunch of then young players: Kazimierz Jonkisz (drums), Witold Szczurek (bass), Krzysztof Popek (flute), Piotr Adamski (piano), Maciej Strzelczyk (violin) and Henryk Gembalski (violin) showed such an energy and enthusiasm on this record that it was obvious that they had to become key players on Polish jazz scene in 80ties and 90ties. 
As far as leader of this band is concerned, Kazimierz Jonkisz started his career by taking taking part in recording of famous Zbigniew Namysłowski album "Winobranie" in 1973 and since then was very active playing with most important players in those times like Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski, Tomasz Szukalski, Włodzimierz Nahorny etc. From 1974 until 1976 he was playing in Jazz Carries group with Henryk Miśkiewicz among others with whom he recorded album titled "Jazz Carriers: Carry On!" in 1973. Finally in 1978 he set up his own band which with different personel carried on for quite long time recording such interesting albums as "Tiri Taka" in 1980, "Top Six" in 1986 and "XYZ" in 1987. 
In musical terms this is mainstream jazz owing a lot to hard bop era with delicate Polish folk accents. It rocks as hell but presence of both violins and flute make music sound so original and Polish, unmistakably one of great recordings of serious players in Polish jazz.
PS. Please note a very interesting album cover which is a joke directed toward communist regime hated by most of Polish jazzmen: lap decorations containing portraits of musicians remind medals of Soviet heroes ;-)))
Check this link for a composition by Krzysztof Popek "Polinelia" from this record.

By Maciej Nowotny

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