Sunday, March 18, 2012

Zbigniew Namyslowski & Zakopane Highlanders - Jazz & Folk (2000)

Zbigniew Namyslowski - sax

Krzysztof Herdzin - piano
Olo Walicki - bass
Grzegorz Grzyb - drums

Zakopane Highlanders Band:
Jan Karpiel "Bulecka" - fiddle, bagpipe, folk whistle, vocal
Piotr Majerczyk - first fiddle, vocal
Wojciech Topa - bass, vocal
Stanislaw Michalczak - first and second fiddle, vocal
Jan Zatorski "Siecka" - bass, vocal

Jazz & Folk (2000)

Polish folk music is incredibly diversified and original as much in melody as in rhythm aspect. Created to dance with it possess moreover simplicity which immediately make it charming and engaging to any listener exposed to it. Back in XIX century it was quickly grasped by such a genius as Frederic Chopin which using then contemporary language of Italian opera and new powerful instrument of grand piano sung those folk songs in his own and entirely individual way. It brought him huge success worldwide! Such a scheme appeals also to subsequent generation of Polish musicians and it is no surprise that jazz musicians also addressed this part of national music heritage. Among most convincing attempts in this field are those undertaken by Zbigniew Namysłowski. 

Namysłowski is outstanding saxophonist and simply one of founding fathers of Polish Jazz. Well over seventy now not only his is still active (planning new record) but bringing new things to jazz. His greatest contribution is introducing elements of Polish folk music to jazz. Such his albums as "Winobranie" (1973) or "Kuyaviak Goes Funky" (1975) are pivotal in development of jazz in Poland and in forging its own unique style.  In following years he continued on this road with two albums recorded with Zakopane Highlanders band. This one is second after "Zbigniew Namysłowski Quartet & Zakopane Highlanders Band" released in 1995. They were not received by critique (opposite to audience) as enthusiastically like his previous attempts in folk jazz. There were opinions that jazz and folk languages do not alternate with one with each other as successfully as on his previous albums remaining at moments separate, not congruent. But I personally do not share all this criticism. Years that has passed show that despite many attempts by other artists Namysłowski interpretation of Polish folk in language of jazz remains by far the most inspiring...    

Tracklisting: 01. Skarga (6:48); 02. Krywan & Jazz (7:20); 03. Zablakana Owiecka (9:21); 04. Jazz Pod Jaworkiem (6:06); 05. Idzie Janko Z Jazzem (5:57); 06. Zboj (8:32); 07. Co Sie Stalo W Jazzie (7:19); 08. 4 Po 4 (5:39)

By Maciej Nowotny

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