Friday, March 4, 2016

Wiesław Wilczkiewicz – Fly Ensemble (2016)

Wiesław Wilczkiewicz

Wiesław Wilczkiewicz - guitar
Marek Walarowski - keyboards
Jerzy Mucha - saxophone
and others

Fly Ensemble

GAD 038

By Adam Baruch

This album presents a collection of radio recordings by the Polish Jazz ensemble called Fly Ensemble, led by guitarist Wiesław Wilczkiewicz, who was a member in the legendary Alex Band. The ensemble also included several other ex-Alex Band members like keyboardist Marek Walarowski and saxophonist Jerzy Mucha, and featured guest artists like violinists Krzesimir Dębski and Zbigniew Wodecki. The album presents ten instrumental pieces, five of which were composed by Wilczkiewicz, two by Walarowski, and one each by Mucha, Wodecki and American pianist Randy Weston.

The music is a superb blend of Jazz/Groove/Funk, with excellent melodies and interesting arrangements, altogether perfectly executed. Although definitely on the easy side of the genre, it is fascinating and intelligent, and still sounds great over three decades later. The musicians involved in these recordings are all top professionals and manage to make the best of it. Although some people might consider this Smooth Jazz, it stands miles above what passes as Smooth Jazz these days and is infinitely more sophisticated.

I had a great time listening to this music, in spite of its easy-going approach and perhaps even because of it. With music getting more and more convoluted over time, the simply stated but elegant phrases on this album are a truly relaxing and entertaining. Thanks to GAD Records for bringing this music back to circulation, as it fully deserves it.

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