Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Krzysztof Sadowski – Three Thousands Points (2015)

Krzysztof Sadowski

Krzysztof Sadowski - keyboards
Liliana Urbańska - flute, vocals
Wojciech Bruslik - bass guitar
Tomasz Szukalski - saxophone
Winicjusz Chróst - guitar
and others

Three Thousands Points (Polish Jazz Vol.47)

GAD 031

By Adam Baruch

This is a reissue (first time on CD) of the third album by Polish Jazz keyboardist/composer Krzysztof Sadowski recorded with an ensemble called Organ Group, which also included flautist/vocalist Liliana Urbańska, saxophonists Vesselin Nikolov and Tomasz Szukalski, guitarist Winicjusz Chróst, bass guitarist Wojciech Bruslik, drummers Zbigniew Kitliński and Wojciech Morawski and finally percussionists Andrzej Zieliński and Bożena Bruszewska. The reason for the long lineup is the fact that the album was recorded during two separate sessions with two different lineups.

This album was released at the time as part of the legendary "Polish Jazz" series (as Vol.47) and included originally only four tracks, the first of which gave the album its title and was a twenty one minutes long suite originally found on side A of the LP. The three tracks on side B were shorter and spanned between three to nine minutes in duration. Two of the compositions were originals, both composed by Sadowski; one was a Keith Jarrett tune and one was a Classical piece. This remastered reissue adds three bonus tracks recorded at the Polish Radio.

The music on this album shows Sadowski at full swing as a Jazz-Rock Fusion musician, firmly based in the Fusion idiom, which was pretty well established by then both on the Polish scene and abroad. He expands his arsenal and uses electric piano and early synthesizer (ring modulator) gadgets. The flute parts are more daring and the vocalese more developed, clearly following the work of Urszula Dudziak. Nikolov adds a tinge of Balkan spice and Szukalski blows away like only he could, touching upon Free at times. The rhythmic support is very Rock oriented and the overall sound and feel of the music resembles to some extent the best Fusion ensembles active in the West but maintains an East European identity both harmonically and melodically.

In retrospect the album 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. The grammar mistake in the English version of the title (preserved for historic consistency) is a nice reminder of Socialist bureaucracy (an insider's joke). 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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