Amazon.com Widgets

Zbigniew Seifert Quartet: Nora (2010)

By Published: | 5,577 views
Zbigniew Seifert Quartet: Nora How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.

With a trajectory only starting to expand beyond his native Poland, before succumbing to complications from cancer in 1979 at age 32, it's little surprise that Zbigniew Seifert has flown largely beneath the radar of even the most knowledgeable jazzer. Still, it appears as though overdue attention is finally returning to this remarkable violinist, whose Man of the Light (Promising Music, 1977) remains an overlooked gem of incendiary post-John Coltrane
John Coltrane
John Coltrane
1926 - 1967
saxophone
modality, and impressionistic, European classicism. A documentary film is underway, and the international attention commencing with Seifert's Oregon collaboration, Violin (Vanguard, 1977), and his own exceptional Passion (Capitol, 1979) (featuring John Scofield
John Scofield
John Scofield
b.1951
guitar
, Richie Beirach
Richie Beirach
Richie Beirach
b.1947
piano
, Eddie Gomez
Eddie Gomez
Eddie Gomez
b.1944
bass
, Jack DeJohnette
Jack DeJohnette
Jack DeJohnette
b.1942
drums
and Nana Vasconcelos
Nana Vasconcelos
Nana Vasconcelos
b.1944
percussion
), seems on the cusp of an overdue breakthrough. Three decades late, perhaps, but, in the final analysis, never too late.

Nora joins other recent archival Polish releases like Kilimanjaro (Anex, 2007), but unlike that live double-disc set—the violinist's last documented appearance; a fusion-centric date with electric piano and guitar—this set collects Seifert's earliest live performances as leader of his first quartet where, despite violin being his first instrument, he plays nothing but alto saxophone (which he also played in trumpeter Tomasz Stanko
Tomasz Stanko
Tomasz Stanko
b.1942
trumpet
's early free jazz ensembles) . The 55-minute set collects radio recordings from three shows, beginning with a March, 1969 show at Jazz nad Odrą, ending in October the following year at Warsaw's Jazz Jamboree.

Often compared to Coltrane—sounding how the saxophone giant might have sounded, had he picked up a bow rather than a reed—Nora provides inescapable evidence that Seifert, on saxophone, was deeply affected by Coltrane, but also Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman
Ornette Coleman
b.1930
sax, alto
, and Charles Lloyd
Charles Lloyd
Charles Lloyd
b.1938
saxophone
. A dark-hued, rubato take of Miles Davis
Miles Davis
Miles Davis
1926 - 1991
trumpet
' "Blue in Green" positions the quartet early on, with pianist Jan Jarczyk finding a nexus between Bill Evans
Bill Evans
Bill Evans
1929 - 1980
piano
' lyricism and McCoy Tyner
McCoy Tyner
McCoy Tyner
b.1938
piano
's greater power, albeit without the denser block chords. Jarczyk co-composed "Meandry" with Seifert; a free-wheeling piece redolent of Coltrane's more liberated final days, but demonstrating considerably more restraint, even as Seifert's solo escalates in intensity, with Jarczyk, bassist Jan Gonciarczyk and drummer Jaņusz Stefanski heading into the ozone. There may be seven years and a completely different instrument between this performance and Man of the Light, but the lineage is inescapable.

Elsewhere, Seifert's knotty title track leads to some of the set's most energetic and jagged interplay, swinging with reckless abandon and punctuated by Jarczyk's aggressive, Cecil Taylor
Cecil Taylor
Cecil Taylor
b.1929
piano
-esque stance, while his Latin-esque "Reminiscenje" may be Nora's most centrist track, but remains imbued with passion and fire.

These relatively thin-sounding mono recordings are only adequate, but the performances more than compensate for any sonic shortcomings. Nora presents an alternate view of Zbigniew Seifert to a world familiar (if at all) with his more distinctive violin prowess. More than just an archival find, it bolsters increased interest in an artist whose musical life may have been over almost before it began, but who shone all the more brightly because of it.

Track Listing: East of the Sun; Blue in Green; Nora; Reminiscenje; Złudenie; Taniec garbusa; Ten niezastąpiony; Meandry.

Personnel: Zbigniew Seifert: alto saxophone; Jan Jarczyk: piano; Jan Gonciarczyk: bass; Jaņusz Stefanski: drums.

Record Label: GAD Records

Style: Modern Jazz


comments powered by Disqus
Support All About Jazz Through Amazon

Weekly Giveaways

Mark Elf

Mark Elf

About | Enter

Stefano Bollani

Stefano Bollani

About | Enter

Carmen Lundy

Carmen Lundy

About | Enter

Wadada Leo Smith

Wadada Leo Smith

About | Enter

Sponsor: Nonesuch Records | BUY NOW

Enter it twice.
To the weekly jazz events calendar

Enter the numbers in the graphic
Enter the code in this picture

Log in

One moment, you will be redirected shortly.

or search site with Google