Monday, November 25, 2013

Marek Blizinski – Wave (2009) ***

Marek Blizinski - guitar
Pawel Jarzebski - bass
Zbigniew Wegehaupt - bass
Janusz Stefanski - drums
Czeslaw Bartkowski - drums

ANEX 327




By Adam Baruch


This is the only album as a leader recorded by Polish Jazz guitarist Marek Blizinski, who was one of the first Jazz guitar players on the local scene. He was a very in-demand session player and participated in many recordings as well as recording with several groups of which he was a formal member, led by such Polish Jazz luminaries like Michal Urbaniak, Wojciech Karolak, Zbigniew Namyslowski and Jan Ptaszyn Wroblewski. He was a brilliant improviser and had a wonderful tone, which ornamented many important Polish Jazz recordings.

His solo career, however, never really took off and this was the only album he managed to release as a leader, before his untimely and tragic death at the age of 42. The album consists of two radio sessions, with Blizinski playing on both in a trio format, first with bassist Pawel Jarzebski and drummer Janusz Stefanski and then with bassist Zbigniew Wegehaupt and drummer Czeslaw Bartkowski. Both these rhythm sections are considered to be among the best ones ever active on the local scene. The album includes seven compositions, all of which are standards.

Although well played, both by Blizinski and the rhythm sections, this album does not present his true abilities and sensitivities and in retrospect is unfortunately much less impressive than it could have been. Playing these standards, which present no true intellectual challenge for these experienced musicians, was a poor decision. His numerous recordings with other artists are much more impressive.

Guitar enthusiasts will obviously find here many beautiful moments of mainstream Jazz, with are every bit as good as those recorded across the pond. Definitely worth remembering!

Side Note: The Poljazz label, which originally released this album, was active for 20 years (between 1972 and 1991) and was owned by the Polish Jazz Society. Considering the fact that the music industry in the Socialist State was centralized and totally controlled, with just one State owned music company producing all the albums, the possibilities to record and release Jazz albums were extremely limited. Poljazz was conceived and founded in order to allow for many more Jazz (and other) albums to be released independently from the State owned Polskie Nagrania / Muza and as such revolutionized the music industry at the time, being the only such enterprise in Eastern Europe. The Polish label Anex reissued many of the original Poljazz albums on CD, bringing this fabulous music back to life.

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