Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Aneta Norek - Man of light (Musica Jagellonica, 2009)

Aneta Norek

"Man of Light: zycie i twórczość Zbigniewa Seifert"

Musica Jagellonica, 2009

Adam Baruch (check his music boutique: explores excellent biography of one of the greatest talent in history of Polish jazz:  

This fascinating book is the first biography of the European Jazz icon, Polish violinist Zbigniew Seifert. Born in Krakow, Poland on June 7, 1946 Seifert was a completely unique phenomenon, a musical Genius and a wonderful person and his life´s story, tragically cut short by cancer at the ridiculous age of 32 (he died February 14, 1979 in Buffalo, USA) is an epic of Hollywood proportions. Like the young Icarus, Seifert soared through the sky with his music, but his destiny was for his lofty plans to remain unfulfilled.

Seifert´s contribution to Polish Jazz as a leader of his own quartet (late 1960s) and a member of the Tomasz Stanko quintet (early 1970s) is colossal. He was a pivot figure in the transition of Polish Jazz from the early phase dominated by American Jazz tradition into the new European Jazz, emancipated from the restriction imposed upon the music by earlier concepts.

His international (first European and later also American) career in the mid to late 1970s, which was his most illustrious, although heavily disrupted by his illness in the last three years of his life, is one of the highlights of European Jazz, of which he became one of the brightest stars.

The author meticulously collected a vast amount of facts, documents, letters, photographs, articles, record reviews, interviews and other biographical data and wove them into a lucid, chronological story, which is easily readable and highly educational. She avoids commentary (or keeps it to the minimum) on matters which had political, sociological or other implications, keeping the text on subject at all times.

The musical criticism in this book is limited to quotes from other musicians or articles / reviews quoted. There is no serious musical analysis present, neither from the musicological nor historical point of view, which is perhaps for the good of the book as it stands. Such highly professional writing might have turned the book into a much more difficult reading experience, reducing the potential readership to a selected group of specialists. This book is intended for a wide audience, for people who knew him personally (like myself), people familiar with his music and especially for the young generation of Jazz musicians and fans, who definitely should be aware of this great man´s heritage.

The fact that the book was published in polish unfortunately limits the accessibility to readers familiar with that language, but I do hope this will be remedied at some point, as it definitely deserves to be available to all Jazz fans around the globe.

Thank you Aneta for your hard work, inspiration and dedication needed to complete this project!

Author of text: Adam Baruch (

But music lives Seifert great tune "Man Of Light" in fantastic modern interpretation of The Magic Number which consists of Zach Brock on violin, Matt Wigton on bass and Frederick Kennedy on drums. Fantastic!!!

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