Адам Макович в моих рекомендациях не нуждается, жаль, что его сольные работы вот этого «среднего периода так скудно у меня представлены, всего одна пластинка того знаменательного этапа, когда он поменял всякие там keyboards на обычный акустический рояль, и в таком «формате» выступил на фестивале в Ньюпорте, кстати, альбом этот и был записан в Чехословакии «по горячим следам», и, коль скоро в Ньюпорте, тем более в 1977 году, нам уж точно не побывать, то слушая запись, мы можем легко представить, что там исполнял Макович, как и всякий польский пианист, не забывающий о Шопене, даже играя джаз - А.К.
1 BLUE COBEA - - 5:15
2 DANCING ON THE TOES - - 4:05
3 FIRST FLIGHT TO THE CLOUDS - - 5 :35
4 MY SCANDINAYIAN DANCE - -5:10
5 BLUES NO. l - - 2:40
6 MELODY FOR JAN - - 3:25
7 DO YOU DIG DEBUSSY? - - 5:05
8 A STROLL THROUGH THE STREETS OF WARSAW 4:05
9 LIGHT RAY - - 3:35
10 WINTER FLOWERS - - 7:05
All compositions by Adam Makowicz
ADAM MAKOWICZ – piano
Producer: Tony Matzner
RECORDED AT THE SUPRAPHON "NATIONAL HOUSE" STUDIO AT ŻIŹKOY,
PRAGUE, ON 24 FEBRUARY, 1977
One characteristic feature of jazz in the last decade is the growing number of European musicians who are making their mark on the world scene. The French violinist Jean-Luc Ponty, the German trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff and the English guitarist John McLaughlin have not only risen to the head of the polls conducted by jazz magazines, but have also helped to shape the musical make-up of the contemporary jazz by their creative stimuli. The Polish pianist Adam Makowicz has shown in recent years that he may well be the next one to join the style-setters of world jazz. The legendary talent scout John Hammond, who has had a hand in the discovery of many jazz greats including Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Billie Holiday or Charlie Ghristian, has described Makowicz as the most extraordinary piano talent of the last thirty years. This may be an overstatement, but the very fact that the experienced and reputed expert is recommending Makowicz to the American audiences is eloquent enough.
Adam Makowicz, of course, is no newcomer to the jazz scene. He made his debut in the very early sixties, at a time of sharp ferment brought about by a new generation of avant-garde jazzmen. Their innoyations were reflected in the style of Makowicz's first combo, Jazz Darings (with trumpet player Tomasz Stańko), historically Europe's first free-jazz-oriented group. During the next few years Makowicz demonstrated his close links with mainstream jazz (he has lost none of his admiration for Ellington and Basie, for instance) by his work with the ensembles led by the veterans of Polish modern jazz Andrzej Kurylewicz and Ptaszyn Wróblewski, before joining for several years the accompaniment group of the NOVI vocal quartet, with whom hę performed on tours i n many parts of the world including Australia, New Zealand and India. Of special importance for Makowicz's future development were his four years of collaboration, from 1970, with Michał Urbaniak, a leading personality of Polish avant-garde jazz. Some of their excellent joint recordings have been adopted by prominent world gramophone companies, including Columbia Records, for their catalogues. The quite extraordinary success of Makowicz's album Newborn Light with Urszula Dudziak actually laid the foundation for the Polish jazz vocalist's present fame. Roughly in the mid-seventies Makowicz exchanged the electric piano for the traditional acoustic instrument, and since then he has increasingly concentrated on solo performances. In 1977 he appeared in that role at the Newport Festival in New York, the world's most important jazz event.
This album is the third in the series of four solo LP's by Makowicz published until now. While the two previous albums (the 1975 Live Embers on the Muza label and the Piano Vistas Unlimited recorded one month before our album, and released by Helicon Records) featured mostly Makowicz's original adaptations of compositions by other composers (from Jelly Roll Morton through Gershwin, Kern and Porter evergreens to John Coltrane), the emphasis in the present album (and another one recorded in New York for CBS) is on Makowicz's own compositions. Apart from two exceptions (My Scandinavian Dance and Melody for Jan), this album features Makowicz's originals which have never been recorded before and which are so much a part of the spirit of the piano and of their composer's remarkable talent as pianist, that one can hardly imagine them being interpreted by someone else or differently. Indebted to the late Art Tatum's classical concertante jazz style and to the musical culture of his Polish homeland (Chopinian reminiscences), and being naturally in close contact with stimuli by other prominent jazz pianists (Erroll Garner, Bill Evans, McCoy Tyner, Keith Jarrett and others), Makowicz has fashioned a remarkably mature musical synthesis with striking individual traits imprinted on it by his own musical personality.
This record presents Makowicz the pianist at his best, on the lines sketched above. His compositions and improvisations arę characterized by sharply-contoured melodics developed in graceful variations and permeated by full--blooded harmonic accompaniment in the left hand, of which an American critic has said that Makowicz manages more with it than most pianists with both hands. Along with occasional echoes of the proverbially poetical mood of Chopin's nocturnes, Makowicz also employs in his music reminiscences of the stomping piano style of the swing era or, elsewhere, the characteristic Garnerian block-chords (Blue Cobea). Again and again he draws the listener into the very heart of his intimate musical confessions, opening with the slow emergence, from a light harmonic mist, of the basic musical contours of originally fashioned subjects (A Stroll Through The Streets Of Warsaw), which develop into a fine web of phrases topped by exquisite musical embellishments (Do You Dig Debussy?). By blending these influences of piano literature, mostly of the romantic era, with jazz's own traditions (the diachronistic contrasts of different tempi in First Flight To The Clouds and the rich polymetric structure of My Scandinavian Dance) Makowicz has achieved a well-integrated style of a new type. One result of his striving for spontaneity of expression was that the entire album was recorded in one go without repeating any of the numbers. It remains to be said that the recording was made on a Steinway concert grand with the type of stereo equipment usually used for recording serious music.