Tuesday, October 18, 2016

NOVI Singers – Torpedo (Polish Jazz Vol.87 Deluxe) (2006)

NOVI Singers

Bernard Kawka - vocals
Ewa Wanat - vocals
Janusz Mych - vocals
Waldemar Parzyński - vocals

Torpedo (Polish Jazz Vol.87 Deluxe)

MUZA 1087

By Adam Baruch

This is a reissue of the second album by the seminal vocal group NOVI Singers, one of the most acclaimed Polish Jazz acts in the 1960s and 1970s, and one of the most influential vocal ensembles of all times. Led by the charismatic vocalist/composer/arranger Bernard Kawka, the group also included the sensational female vocalist Ewa Wanat and two more male vocalists/composers/arrangers: Janusz Mych and Waldemar Parzyński. Following the formula set by their sensational debut album, they perform original music composed and arranged by Kawka, Mych and Parzyński (except for one Classical piece).

The vocal quartet is accompanied by a superb instrumental team, which includes some of the best Polish Jazz musicians at the time, including pianist Adam Makowicz, drummer Czesław Bartkowski and many others, as well as the Polish Radio Jazz Studio Orchestra, led by Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski. The rich instrumental arrangements were one of the differences between NOVI Singers and the earlier European Jazz vocal ensembles like Les Double Six or The Swingle Singers.

This album, as all early recordings by NOVI Singers, is absolutely immune to the tides of time and sounds today as magnificent as it was at the time of its recording. NOVI Singers definitely left a mark on the Jazz vocal idiom, setting an incredibly high standard, which sadly was later on followed by only very few similar ensembles.

Side Note: This is one of those Polish Jazz albums, released by the Polskie Nagrania/Muza label, which should have been released as part of the legendary "Polish Jazz" series at the time, but somehow never made it. From the historic perspective it definitely deserved to be a part of that series and this was partially corrected by this edition, as it is one of the items in the expanded "Polish Jazz Deluxe" series of reissues.

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