Monday, November 14, 2022

Zbig As a Mountain

Zbigniew Seifert - Where Are You From

Let's bathe in the lush waters of the Poland Springs... that is, the Poland Strings, with the anniversary of one of my top 5 live records ever, not coincidentally courtesy of one of my all-time favorite players.

What is it about Poland and violinists? Henryk Wieniawski, Michał Urbaniak, Krzesimir Dębski, and nowadays, Adam Bałdych.

Maybe my all-time favorite of them wasn't around too long before cancer claimed him, but anyone that comes along knows deep down that he is the stick to which they will have to measure up.

The violin is one of those instruments that has so much emotion in it, so much Romantic pulse just in the sound alone.

That's why there are so many movies where the big scene has some sort of violin passage playing, whether in a swelling string orchestra or solo.

This makes it all the tougher to make a sound on it that is individual and recognizable as one's own, and why players spend whole lifetimes finding their voice within it.

That's what makes Zbigniew Seifert such a cut above, even in his tragically-limited footprint left from not quite a decade of recording.

Once again, the cliché bears repeating: this guy plays one phrase and it cannot be anyone else.

Which brings us to maybe the last time he was recorded before he passed, which resulted in the "Joshy's Top 5 Live Albums" claim.

It's come out in several different -- and fragmented -- permutations on several grey area labels in Poland in the 44 years since it was taped, but it's only ever been assembled complete on one, bootleg issue.

So you better get your climbing gear on right away, because we're about to go to the peak of Kilimanjaro.

Zbigniew Seifert Quintet
the complete Kilimanjaro
Kraków, Poland 

01 Coral
02 Impressions
03 Kilimanjaro
04 Bez tytulu
05 Where Are You From

01 Spring On the Farm
02 Materna
03 Antoni Krupa interview with Zbigniew Seifert

Total time: 1:48:41

Zbigniew Seifert - violin
Zbigniew Wegehaupt - bass
Janusz Grzywacz - keyboards
Jarosław Śmietana - guitar
Mieczysław Górka - drums & percussion

the complete, unedited session for the 1979 live album "Kilimanjaro" 
only ever partially issued in the digi-era on mysterious grey area releases in Europe
sourced from the 2002 silver boot CD on the Rare Jazz Recordings label, itself apparently sourced from the original master tapes
very slightly declipped and retracked -- with CD2 slightly remastered to better match volume and tone of CD1 -- by EN, November 2022
721 MB FLAC/direct link

To say that the playing on this 87 minutes of thermonuclear grade fusion -- it also comes with an extensive interview in Polish that plays over a reprise of one of the tunes -- is liable to set your headphones ablaze hotter than a Michael Jackson Pepsi commercial sounds hyperbolic, but it's hard to argue once you've gone up Kilimanjaro, and you're gazing down at the mortals trying to imitate "Actual Proof" for the 1000th time.

Anyway Zbig Seifert's been dead since 1979, but this music will sound alive-n-vibrant forever if you ask me... and it was committed to oxide in the city of his birth on November 14, 1978. So it seemed germane to toss it up before its birthday was over, having wanted to put it on my page since I started this thing.--J.

6.7.1946 - 2.15.1979