Saturday, August 25, 2012

String Connection - Live in Warsaw (Poljazz, 1986)

String Connection (band)

Krzesimir Dębski - violin, keyboards
Andrzej Jagodziński - grand piano, french horn
Zbigniew Wrombel - bass
Krzysztof Przybyłowicz - drums

Live in Warsaw (Poljazz, 1986)

A short note about this album might begin as the introduction to Star Wars movie cycle: "Far far away in a distant country behind the Iron Curtain a small group of rebels tried to dispel the darkness imposed upon jazz music by the evil Empire". As you probably know in 1981 gen. Jaruzelski crushed the Solidarity movement  in Poland. His backlash on democratic forces was not limited to politics only. The culture of the country suffered under communist tyranny as well. The music and jazz  being no exception of course. Subsequent period of decadence was seen as extremely disheartening especially when compared to unprecedented and continued rise of jazz in Poland which began in mid-50ties and lasted for quartet of the century unhindered.

The depression reigned on almost every field of people's life be it political, economical or cultural but there were some beacons of hope even in those times which heralded that some renaissaince might be possible in future. In Polish jazz perhaps strongest example of such a hope was music created by String Connection. They debuted in 1982 with "Workoholic" and were recording feverishly in following years completing discography of nine discs in next 6 years when in 1988 the group was disbanded.

The moving force behind this collective was violinist Krzesimir Dębski who should be placed among the greatest exponents of so-called Polish school of jazz violin together with such giants as Zbigniew Seifert (check his "Man of Light") or Michał Urbaniak (check "Fusion III"). But other musicians in this band played on equally high level: pianist Henryk Jagodziński (who in following years made significant career on his own; check for example "Deep Cut"), doublebassist Zbigniew Wrombel and drummer Krzysztof Przybyłowicz. Music was progressive as for those times. Though clearly rooted in bop tradition and influenced by fusion aesthetic, it was at the same time creatively transformed by band's members into language of their own. That is probably why  its rehearsal after so many years sill remains more than satisfactory experience...

1. Surim
2. Red Autumn Trees
3. Chcialbym Sie Czegos Napić
4. Shadow Of Your Smile
5. Bye Bye Chorus
6. Genealogy

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