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Michal Urbaniak (born June 22, 1943) is a Polish jazz musician and composer born in Warsaw, playing maninly the violin, lyricon and saxophone during concerts and recordings. He played a central role in the development of jazz fusion in the 1970s and 1980s, and has introduced elements of folk, R&B, hip hop, and symphonic music to jazz.
|Instruments||Music and Musicians|
|Accompanist/ Conductor||alto sax & flute Zbigniew Namyslowski, voice & percussion Urszula Dudziak, keyboard Kenny Kirkland, electric bass Tony Bunn, drums Lurenda Featherstone|
Customer Reviews (3)
- "Urbaniak At His Best"Review by Big Toots
Exotic. Intellectual. Electrifying. Pioneering. These are some of the descriptions critics and general listeners have had about the highly-stimulating music of Polish violinist (and multi-instrumentalist), Michal Urbaniak. Recorded in the late 1970s, this eponymously-titled effort offers a witchy cauldron of funk, rock, and uber-jazz that is some of Urbaniak’s best work.
A contemporary music visionary, Urbaniak performs brilliantly here on electric violin and the wind-blown lyricon. He’s more energized and ensemble-driven than another contemporary fiddler, Jean Luc-Ponty. Adding the ungodly vocal textures of his wife, Urzula Dudziak, a vocal-synthesizer if there ever was one, the tone across the session is a firestorm from the start (“Tie Breaker”). The inventive saxophone of Zbigniew Namyslowski and a superb rhythm unit (featuring bassist Tony Dunn and drummer Laurenda Featherstone) add to make this album a hit, if not a classic recording worthy of the stature – and success - of the legendary ensemble, “Weather Report.”
Urbaniak is a most able jazz soloist on his axes. A technical virtuoso and no hoe-down cornballer (although “Stray Sheep” has a C+W whiff), he’s wise to fly fast and hard against the pulsing grooves below. Namyslowski, not particularly well-known outside of Europe, is a perfect foil for the Urbaniaks’ unison syllabicating. His jazz solos are scream-soaring and are always in perfect synchronicity with all that flies around him (“Jasmine Lady,” which has a slight Stevie “Wonderful” taste and “Stray Sheep”). Bassist Dunn has a patent on the funk-pluck groove so commonly heard today (Listen to the exotic “Weird Creatures” and think “Seinfeld”).
“Urbaniak” is a terrific listen – a fusion experience well worth your time to behold.
(Posted on 6/19/2015)
- UrbaniakReview by Simon Sez
Urbaniak has him playing with another Polish musician, altoist Zbigniew Namyslowski, Kenny Kirkland (remember him from the Marsalises?) on keyboards and the amazing singer Urszula Dudziak. This is fusion from the 1970s that is high quality and full of surprises, very good danceable stuff that also sounds exotic.
Simon Sez: Michael Urbaniak, a very good Polish violinist, plays high quality fusion on Urbaniak (IC 1036) with a group that includes Kenny Kirkland. (Posted on 5/6/2014)
- Review by Michael G. Nastos
This album for Inner City Records showcases a much more substantive, energetic, and contemporary type of jazz music perfectly suited for the fusion-oriented '70s.
With wife Urszula Dudziak singing and Zbigniew Namyslowski playing alto sax in a David Sanborn-type dialect, these three form a hummable, tuneful front line whose symmetry and sonic footprint are hard to resist.
Kudos to the Inner City label for issuing this fine effort -- highly recommended without reservation -- on CD so that listeners may relish in its exuberant qualities. (Posted on 6/14/2013)
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