Thursday, June 7, 2012

Wojciech Karolak – Easy! (Polish Jazz Vol.81 Deluxe, 1974)

Wojciech Karolak - Hammond & Farfisa Vip organs, Fender piano 

Orchestra conducted by Jan 'Ptaszyn' Wróblewski -
Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski - conductor
Tomasz Szukalski - soprano saxophone (solo 2)
Tomasz Stańko - trumpet (solo 1)
Zbigniew Namysłowski - alto saxophone (solo 5)
Janusz Muniak - reeds

Easy! (Polish Jazz Vol.81 Deluxe, 1974)

This relatively little known but excellent album presents Polish Jazz keyboardist / composer / arranger / bandleader Wojciech Karolak in a relaxed atmosphere and in company of the crème de la crème of the Polish Jazz musicians of the period that he cooperated with on many occasions before. The idea was to present a less complex / sophisticated music performed by top Jazz players, but in retrospect the result surely surpassed all the intensions and expectations and this is definitely some of the best of his work. 

Recorded at a time when the Jazz-Rock Fusion in Poland was rapidly developing and achieving the peak of its creativity, spearheaded by Michal Urbaniak and his group, of which Karolak was a member. It is hardly surprising therefore that this album includes many of the characteristics of the early 1970s Polish Fusion, which of course in term was strongly influenced by the pioneering and groundbreaking work done by Miles Davis at the time, which served as a model to the entire worldwide music community. 

Although perhaps more melodic than the Urbaniak's recordings, this album has plenty of innovative moves, like the usage of early synthesizers, electric piano and of course his organ, excellent brass arrangements on some tunes and superb soloing by the musicians involved, which include trumpeter Tomasz Stanko, saxophonists Zbigniew Namyslowski, Janusz Muniak and Tomasz Szukalski, drummer Czeslaw Bartkowski and many others. Karolak composed seven of the eight tracks on this album with one track being contributed by the great Jan Ptaszyn Wroblewski. Lovers of Polish Jazz should be rejoiced by the fact that this album was reissued as part of the extended legendary Polish Jazz series. A must!



Track listing:1. A Day In The City [05:28]; 2. (DACP 796) Endless Transit [04:17]; 3. Instant Groove [07:09]; 4. Strzeż się Szczeżui [03:58]; 5. Easy [05:57]; 6. Why Not Samba [04:16]; 7. Seven Shades Of Blue [04:04]; 8. Goodbye [06:30]

By Adam Baruch
http://www.adambaruch.com/

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