Saturday, January 10, 2015

Stol Panski – Gadajace Drzewo (1997)

Stół Pański

Zbigniew Kunkowski - guitar
Andrzej Przybielski - trumpet
Sławomir Kulpowicz - keyboards
Janusz Smyk - flute & Saxophone
Krzysztof Ścierański - bass
Michał Zduniak - drums
and others

Gadające Drzewo

ZBIG 001

By Adam Baruch

This is the only album by Polish Jazz ensemble Stół Pański, led by guitarist/composer Zbigniew Kunkowski, which also featured trumpeter Andrzej Przybielski, flautist/saxophonist Janusz Smyk, keyboardist Sławomir Kulpowicz, bassist Krzysztof Ścierański, drummer Michał Zduniak, vocalist Joachim Janko, violinist Henryk Gembalski, saxophonist Aleksander Korecki and several other players. Some of these players used to be a decade earlier members of the legendary ensemble Free Cooperation. The album presents seven original compositions, all composed by Kunkowski and arranged by Kulpowicz. There is also a hidden/undocumented track, which follows the seven tracks, which is a free improvised piece.

Musically the album presents a fascinating amalgam of Jazz with Groove, Funk and World Music. Most of the music consists of a simple melody line played over a repetitive groove and serving as a background for extensive improvisations by the soloists. The main and most impressive soloist is of course the legendary trumpeter Andrzej Przybielski. Who plays on this album some of the most coherent and beautiful solos in his entire career, which bridge between his free improvising tendencies and the melodic approach he uses here. Especially impressive are his muted trumpet parts, which easily compare to those played by Miles Davis. Since every note of the Przybielski legacy is utterly sacred, this album is an absolutely must to every follower of the Polish Jazz trumpet heritage.

Overall this album is one of the hidden gems in the Polish Jazz discography, which disappeared from the shelves shortly after being released almost two decades ago and never reissued. True Polish Jazz fans should make every effort to get hold of a copy, at all costs.

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