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Polish Jazz - YES! Polish jazz has always thrived. Paradoxically, it developed after World War II, despite its having been banned by the communist authorities. Music does not surrender to political changes, as there are no lyrics. Jazz is (to a certain degree...) abstract, and perhaps this is the reason why it has been, and still is, in the best situation, independent of politics. The winner of this year’s "Polish Market's" Honorary Pearl in the field of culture is one of the most acclaimed representatives of Polish jazz Zbigniew Namysłowski. Maciej Proliński


bigniew Namysłowski is an artist whose role in Polish jazz has become symbolic. This distinguished alto saxophonist, composer and arranger has been creating the face of our jazz for nearly six decades. Last year, his première original album entitled “Polish Jazz - YES” was released by Polskie Nagrania within the “Polish Jazz” series, as vol. 77. The number of the volume coincided with the musician's 77th birthday. He was born on 9 September 1939. The album was recorded in cooperation with young-generation musicians (the quintet included Jacek Namysłowski trombone, Sławek Jaskułke - piano), and demonstrates the artist’s great creativity and artistic potential. The title is a manifesto and a final declaration. Nine new pieces indirectly refer to folk sources, which create a starting point for its metrical and tonal, fully-original, arrangement. Namysłowski is a master in this field. The phenomenon of this album lies in the fact that, despite applying sophisticated measures, the music is full of flavour, characterised by a fast pace, a distinctive dance rhythm, and at times a necessary dose of humour. Listening to the music is a beautiful experience, as it is also art, which still bears its own imprint. The entire album consists of a mature, vibrant and positive message addressed both to the older, loyal enthusiasts of Polish jazz, and to those who are still learning about the multifaceted history of our jazz. And there are numerous albums in Namysłowski’s discography, recorded over

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various decades. Beautiful re-editions of some of his albums are currently available. These are, i.a., “Winobranie: (“Vintage”) (1973), “Kujaviak Goes Funky” (1975), “Air Condition” (with an extensive concert album recorded during the Jazz Jamboree’ 83 festival, and it was a special concert, as Namysłowski’s quintet performed two days before the first memorable concert by Miles Davis in Poland), and “Without a Talk” (1991). Although Namysłowski’s jazz is undergoing quite remarkable and constant stylistic transformations, his characteristic style, perfect performance, and his instantly and constantly noticeable affirmation (of music and of life) define his music in an excellent way. What should be valued in Namysłowski is his equal treatment of all jazz styles: he does not lose his identity playing hard-bop along with rhythm and blues, free jazz and third stream, along with pop music, and is at the same time fascinated with searching for new solutions. His compositions can be the topic of a separate book chapter, all the more-so that he draws from folklore, which results in creating music which Poland can export without hesitation, as the country’s contribution to world jazz. Polish jazz... “Jazz fills my life. It is everything,” admitted Namysłowski at the beginning of his career in one of interviews. In an interview enclosed with the album entitled “Polish Jazz vol. 77, Polish Jazz - YES!” Namysłowski admits that “he does not like philosophising about music”... I would like to conclude this short text on the artist with the greatest compliment a jazz

enthusiast and a culture journalist can think of: Namysłowski's music -with its distinctive tone and its affirmative nature- is music which you cannot stop listening to. And it is music • which doesn’t need words.

Profile for Polish Market

Polish Market No.12 (266)/2017  

Published on Jul 13, 2017 "Polish Market” is a prestigious English-language magazine published since 1996. In its pages, it promotes the Pol...

Polish Market No.12 (266)/2017  

Published on Jul 13, 2017 "Polish Market” is a prestigious English-language magazine published since 1996. In its pages, it promotes the Pol...