Thursday, February 15, 2018

Jerzy Milian – Pretekst (2017)

Jerzy Milian

Jerzy Milian - vibraphone

with others


GAD 062

By Adam Baruch

This is an archival release of previously unissued material recorded by the Entertainment Orchestra of the Polish Radio and TV, directed by veteran musician/composer/bandleader Jerzy Milian. The orchestra was based in Katowice and most of its members were associated with the Music Academy in Katowice, which at that time did not have yet a Jazz department. The orchestra included an instrumental combo, a string section and a vocal group. It performed mostly original compositions by the orchestra members, including those by Milian. Apart from Milian on vibraphone other prominent musicians include also Jerzy Jarosik on flute, brothers: Piotr Prońko on saxophone and Wojciech Prońko on bass, Piotr Kałużny on keyboards and many more. The album presents fourteen tracks on both the CD and LP version of this album and four bonus tracks are present on the CD edition only.

The music is a wide variety of instrumental Jazz oriented pieces, ranging from almost Pop, via Funk, Groove and Jazz, all of them beautifully arranged and performed by the orchestra. Although obviously on the lighter side of Jazz, the album presents superbly crafted tunes and arrangements, which lost nothing of their charm over time. The meaning of the word "entertainment" obviously meant something quite different at that time. This specific sound of the orchestra was a unique phenomenon in the history of Polish Jazz and kudos to GAD Records for unearthing this material and bringing it back to life. For people familiar with Polish Jazz discography, this album is a companion to the album released originally in 1975 by Polskie Nagrania/Muza, which features other pieces recorded at the same sessions.

For Polish Jazz enthusiasts and people interested in the Polish Funk of the 1970s this album is an absolute must. But other music lovers, who have no special ties with Polish music, might find this music fascinating nevertheless. Wholeheartedly recommended!

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