Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Michal Urbaniak / Constellation – In Concert (Polish Jazz Vol.36, 1973)

Michal Urbaniak / Constellation (band)

Michał Urbaniak - el. violin
Urszula Dudziak - vocal, percussion instr.
Wojciech Karolak - Hammond Organ, Fartisa
Czesław Bartkowski - drums
Adam Makowicz - Fender piano & Fender bass

In Concert (Polish Jazz Vol.36, 1973) 

This is the second album on the legendary Polish Jazz series by the Polish saxophonist / violinist / composer / bandleader Michal Urbaniak. A veteran Polish Jazz musician, Urbaniak was a member of the legendary ensembles led by Krzysztof Komeda, where he played the saxophone, but by the early 1970 he switched to the violin and plunged into Jazz-Rock Fusion, rapidly becoming one of the most inventive and creative pioneers of the genre. This album and the albums recorded in Germany and later in the USA are absolute Fusion milestones, but also stand out as completely unique in their approach to the genre. Urbaniak combined the marvelous abilities of his wife Urszula Dudziak and her extraordinary and experimental vocalese technique with his common usage of Polish Folklore motifs, creating a superb and completely unparalleled Fusion music. This live recording captures his baseless / double keyboard ensemble, which also includes organist Wojciech Karolak, pianist Adam Makowicz and drummer Czeslaw Bartkowski. The music, all composed by Urbaniak, is simply out of this world, brilliant and fresh, absolutely resistant to the tides of time and fashion. In retrospect one can only regret that Fusion followed mostly the direction of flashy virtuosic display of neck-breaking guitar races rather than the direction proposed by Urbaniak's Fusion, but it's unfortunately too late now. At least we can savor this music, 40 years after it was recorded, well aged and beautifully eternal. A must!

Track listing: 1. Bengal (17:41); 2. Spokoj (3:32); 3. Lato (8:01); 4. Seresta (9:42); 5. Theme (3:04)

By Adam Baruch

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