Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Metrum – Zielony Dach (2018)


Zbigniew Kalemba - director
Jarosław Śmietana - guitar
Wojciech Gogolewski - keyboards
Jerzy Jarosik - flute
and others

Zielony Dach 

GAD 070

By Adam Baruch

This is an archival album documenting the recordings by the Polish studio ensemble Metrum directed by Zbigniew Kalemba, the founder of the Jazz Institute of the Academy of Music in Katowice. Kalemba invited his best students at the time to play in the ensemble and compose original music and three sessions from 1977 are presented here, almost entirely never previously available in any form. The lineup reads like the who's who of the Polish Jazz scene and includes such luminaries like guitarist Jarosław Śmietana (sadly not with us any more) pianist Wojciech Gogolewski, flautist Jerzy Jarosik (the current director of the Jazz Institute) and many others. The album presents fourteen original compositions, all by the leader and members of the ensemble, recorded at Polish Radio Katowice and offering a spectacular sound quality.

Although on the lighter side of the Jazz spectrum, this music offers an incredible level of compositional ability, which always characterized Polish Jazz. The execution does not leg behind by an iota and the overall effect of a Jazz Orchestra is simply stunning. There is so much sophistication, European aesthetics and good taste in this music, that one wonders how Popular music degraded in time to the level we experience today.

This album is a classic example of Jazz-Pop Fusion, which proves that accessible Jazz can be ambitious, original, classy and perfectly executed and the stigma associated with playing seemingly simpler material is completely unjustified. It offers numerous perfectly structured solos by the participants and the artistry of arrangement and orchestral sound.

Nobody plays this kind of music any more today and therefore this album is a candle in the window for people who are searching to learn from the past and absorb forgotten ways of musical expression. This music is perfect in every sense and completely timeless and listening to it is joyous experience. GAD Records were again able to uncover treasures form the vaults, for we can only be grateful, as always.

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