Saturday, May 22, 2021

Zbigniew Seifert - Live Recordings 1973 & 1976 (2021)

Zbigniew Seifert

Zbigniew Seifert - violin
and others

Live Recordings 1973 & 1976

SWR JAZZHAUS 479




By Adam Baruch

This is a sensational archive album by Polish Jazz violinist/composer Zbigniew Seifert. It presents live recordings from the vaults of the German SWR broadcasting corporation. The first four tracks are performed by a duo comprising of Seifert and legendary German trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff, captured at the 1976 Donaueschingen Musiktage, produced by my friend and Mentor Joachim Berendt. Two of the pieces are spontaneously improvised and the other two are composed one each by Seifert and Mangelsdorff. The fifth track, recorded at the 1973 New Jazz Meeting in Baden-Baden, also produced by Berendt (at his home town), finds Seifert as a member of an international Jazz-Rock Fusion sextet with New Zealand (resident in UK at the time) pianist Dave MacRae, Dutch keyboardists Jasper van`t Hof, Belgian guitarist Philip Catherine, who also composed the tune they perform, German bassist Peter Trunk and British drummer John Marshall.

The duo tracks are simply sensational, a beautiful example of the “Art of the Duo” idiom and Improvised Music at its best. Mangelsdorff was already a veteran pioneer of the duo (and solo) formats by that time, but as far as Seifert was concert this is certainly a rare occasion to hear him is such naked intimate setting, although a few months earlier Seifert recorded his solo violin album, which was still unreleased at the time.

The sextet track reflects perfectly what Seifert was into at the time, playing and recording with European musicians, who recognized his exceptional talent, and paving his way to the international career he was destined for, which sadly never materialized when his lost his battle with cancer.

The SWR vaults are a treasure chest of superb live music, which is being constantly released on records. In this case the material is especially important due to the relatively limited recorded legacy by Seifert, which means that every bit of his music is priceless, especially when recorded at such high sound quality as the music on this album.

Overall this is an absolute essential piece of the Polish Jazz recorded history, which dedicated fans will nor willingly miss. But it is recommended to all European Jazz fans since it reveals the incredibly high level of creativity and versatility the genre enjoyed in the 1970s. Wholeheartedly recommended! 

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