Various Artists

The Best of Polish Jazz 2005

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This two-CD set offers an interesting cross-section of the current jazz scene in Poland. None of the names will be familiar to Americans except for a few ringers like David Murray and Charlie Mariano. The music is primarily post-bop jazz, advanced without being particularly avant-garde, with some of the later selections being more fusion or trance-oriented. The musicianship is excellent as are the players' improvising skills, while the weak point is the lack of memorable melodies or themes. While the liner notes imply that there is more interesting jazz occurring in Poland than in the United States, the music overall, though colorful, is often a bit derivative and not all that innovative. However, the performances in most cases are enjoyable and modern, making this a collection worth pursuing.

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