Aleksander Maliszewski - leader
By Adam Baruch
This is the reissue of the debut album by the Polish Big Band ensemble Alex Band, which was one of very few bands playing instrumental Brass Rock and mixing Jazz-Rock Fusion, Funk and Soul active in Eastern Europe. The band was founded and led by Aleksander Maliszewski and included a seven-piece brass section and a seven-piece rhythm section, with three keyboardists, i.e. a fifteen-piece (including the leader) band – definitely a unique lineup, especially so in Poland which at the time was still very much behind the Iron Curtain. The album included eight original compositions, all by the band members, and for this reissue was expanded by three bonus tracks, one being a studio outtake from the album and two originating from a non-album single released by the band.
The music is beautifully performed and recorded, with a very unique sound and ambience, which sets it apart from almost anything else recorded at the time. Concept and sound wise it is probably closest to the early Earth, Wind & Fire, less the vocals of course. In retrospect this music still sounds fresh and vital, as it was at the time of the recording. Considering the very high level of the compositions and a marvelous execution, there is no way this music will be ever outdated.
Reissuing this jewel is another credit to the GAD Records label, which time after time manages to uncover yet another glorious glimpse of the past that in most cases was completely forgotten till now. The music on this album is a first-class example of skillful arrangements and brilliant recording, which should be studied by today's music students.
Of course let's not forget that this music was also meant to be fun, and fun it is indeed. It would sound great at any cool party and its quality puts easily to bed most of the terrible music made today and heard in public. If you can lay your hands on this gem, don't hesitate even for a moment!