Thursday, September 10, 2015

Krzysztof Sadowski – Na Kosmodromie (2015)

Krzysztof Sadowski

Krzysztof Sadowski - Hammond organ
Liliana Urbańska - flute, vocals
Eddie Engels - trumpet
Włodzimierz Nahorny - alto saxophone, piano
Paweł Dąbrowski - bass guitar
Józef Gawrych - congas
Tomasz Butowtt - drums

Na Kosmodromie

GAD 030

By Adam Baruch

This is a reissue (first time on CD) of the second album by Polish Jazz keyboardist/composer Krzysztof Sadowski recorded with an ensemble called Organ Group, which also included flautist/vocalist Liliana Urbańska, Dutch trumpeter Eddie Engels, saxophonist Włodzimierz Nahorny, bass guitarist Paweł Dąbrowski, drummer Tomasz Butowtt and congas player Józef Gawrych.

This album was not released at the time as part of the legendary "Polish Jazz" series, for reasons that are way beyond the scope of this text. The original album included only six tracks, the first of which gave the album its title and was a twenty minutes long six parts suite originally found on side A of the LP. The five tracks on side B were all much shorter. All the compositions were originals, four composed by Sadowski and one each by Nahorny and Engels. This remastered reissue adds three bonus tracks recorded at the Polish Radio.

By the time this album was released the Polish Jazz scene was in a state of upheaval, torn between two extremes: Free Jazz on one side and Jazz-Rock Fusion on the other. Strangely this album presents a bit of both, since although conceptually belonging to the Jazz-Rock Fusion genre it features a few Free Form solos. Obviously Sadowski was shifting his organ playing stylistics from the traditional influences (Jimmy Smith) towards (then) contemporary keyboard approach represented by Herbie Hancock or Weather Report's Joe Zawinul. The use of vocalese, which was one of the trademarks of Polish Jazz at the time, utilized extensively by Urszula Dudziak in Michał Urbaniak's ensemble, is only one of the parallels between these two pioneering Fusion bands active at the time.

The space exploration, which seems a bit strange as a subject matter of a Jazz album, was at the time one of the main pillars of the Socialist propaganda, which excitedly participated in the space race between USSR and USA, with an obvious winning side. Picking such a subject increased of course significantly the possibility to have one's music released by the State controlled solitary record company in existence at the time in Poland (Polskie Nagrania).

In retrospect the albums is a great document of the time at which it was recorded, proving that in spite of the relative separation from what was happing beyond the Iron Curtain, Polish Jazz was responding rapidly to the changes in the Jazz idiom, often with ferocity and ingenuity, which were impossible to hold back by the political regime. As usual it is my duty to thank GAD Records for taking care of the Polish Jazz heritage, who is sadly a lonely rider on that trail. This superb music definitely needs to be fondly remembered and discovered by new generations!

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