After years and years of collecting records, I’m still constantly surprised by how much music is out there in the world to be discovered. Trying to wrap my mind around all of the records that have come out in the U.S. is enough, but when I think about all the records released world-wide, just in the “in the pocket” funky years of 1967-1975, I fall into a deep existential depression that I’ll never be able to hear them all. Thankfully, running into records I’ve never heard of before, or only heard in passing, snaps me out of that “funk,” and reminds me that all we can do is appreciate what we do get in the short time we are here. Even the greatest record collectors, I mean the big time ones with so many records they lose count and lose space, only own a small fraction of the “great” records that have been released. Perhaps that’s why I persist through periods of inactivity to keep sharing music on this site, as there is so much music to discover.
Today’s discovery is a little trip into the Polish Jazz scene courtesy of keyboardist Adam Makowicz. Makowicz’s “Unit” album is a part (Vol. 35 to be exact) of a long running series, just simply titled “Polish Jazz,” that is highly recommended for it’s overall quality and as a way of wading into what for me is largely uncharted territory. Like much of the sounds over here in the States, by the time the series made it into the 1970s, things got a good deal funky. That’s certainly the case with this album, which only features Makowicz, almost exclusively on Fender rhodes, and drummer Czeslaw Bartkowski together as the titled “Unit.” And while Makowicz’s playing is top-notch, my love of this album is really all about the drums. Part of the joy of these kind of organ/drum duos is that you are absolutely guaranteed to have open drum breaks, and Czeslaw Bartkowski does not disappoint on that front.
Bartkowski has a ton of credits throughout the European jazz scene, though my limited experience with his playing comes down to this record and work down Michal Urbaniak (later in 1976 it seems he released an album under his own name called “Drums Dream” which I will be tracking down without a doubt before year’s end). What I’ve heard thus far, I’ve dug, and when you hear his snappy work on “Sacred Song,” or his own composition “Suggestion,” you’ll dig it too.