Friday, May 8, 2015

Various Artists – Polish Radio Jazz Archives Vol. 20 (2015)

Various Artists

Tomasz Stańko - trumpet
Andrzej Trzaskowski - piano
Janusz Muniak - saxophone
and others

Polish Radio Jazz Archives Vol. 20


By Adam Baruch

This is the twentieth installment in the new series of releases initiated by the Polish Radio, which presents archive Jazz recordings. Radio recordings are always a fabulous source of remarkable material, and as far as Polish Jazz history is concerned, the Polish Radio, which was a state monopoly for 45 years, recorded over time a plethora of invaluable material, which apart from the albums released by the Polskie Nagrania record company (also a state monopoly), is the only available additional source of Polish Jazz recordings. For many years Polish Radio recorded concerts presented during Poland's most important Jazz venues, including the annual Jazz Jamboree Festival and many other festivals as well.

The ten tracks collected here were recorded during the seventh Jazz Jamboree Festival, which took place between October 24 and 26 1964 in Warsaw. The music was performed by four different ensembles, which are: a quartet led by the German brothers Rolf Kuhn on clarinet and Joachim Kuhn on piano with Polish rhythm section consisting of bassists Tadeusz Wójcik or Julian Sandecki and drummer Andrzej Dąbrowski (four tracks), a trio led by Hungarian bass virtuoso Aladar Pege with Polish pianist Wojciech Karolak and drummer Andrzej Dąbrowski (also four tracks), a quintet led by Polish pianist/composer Andrzej Trzaskowski with trumpeter Tomasz Stańko, saxophonist Janusz Muniak, bassist Jacek Ostaszewski and drummer Adam Jędrzejowski (one track only) and finally a trio led by Dutch pianist Pim Jacobs with his brother Ruud Jacobs on bass and guitarist Wim Overgaauw (also one track only).

Most of the music consists of standards and the only original material is one piece by Rolf Kuhn and the only track by the Trzaskowski quintet, which was composed by Stańko and which is absolutely the best and most interesting track on this album.

The beautifully restored sound quality is excellent and the warm ambience of the analog recording is a true joy. As usual with this series, which is very reasonably priced, I miss the presence of "in depth" liner notes/booklet, which should convey the circumstances at which this music was recorded and its importance to the development of Jazz in Poland. Nevertheless this is an absolutely essential piece of Jazz history which every Jazz fan will surely consider an absolute must.

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