Sunday, February 23, 2014

ZBIGNIEW SEIFERT – Man Of The Light (LP-1977)

Label: MPS Records – 68.163
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album; Country: Germany - Released: 1977
Style: Free Jazz, Fusion
Recorded: September 27 - 30, 1976, Tonstudio Zuckerfabrik Stuttgart, Germany.
Artwork By [Cover] – Thyrso A. Brisolla / B.R.M.
Photography – Reinhard Truckenmüller
Producer – Joachim-Ernst Berendt
Recorded By – Chips Platen

Zbigniew Seifert (6 June 1946 – 15 February 1979), Polish jazz violinist

 "Man of the Light" is a true desert island disc; one of the most exhilarating, important, and underexposed jazz albums ever recorded, and all the more tragic for its largely unfulfilled promise of even greater things to come.

A1 - City Of Spring  6:37
A2 - Man Of The Light  9:45
A3 - Stillness  5:00
B1 - Turbulent Ployer  7:27
B2 - Love In The Garden  6:12
B3 - Coral  6:54
Composed By – Zbigniew Seifert, except track A3 by Cecil McBee

JASPER VAN'T HOF – electric piano, organ
CECIL McBEE – acoustic bass
BILLY HART – drums

An incredible jazz album of refreshing quality for its year. These people here have captured the spiritual intensity of John Coltrane with with the grace of classical exuberance, romantic creativity and electric dynaminism. The outstanding whoppers of "modality" such as "City of Spring", "Man of the Light" and "Turbulent Plover" are just beyond my expectation. I usually am a bit annoyed by the long formulaic modal workouts of the acoustic piano, but the classical undercurrents on this album really make these bits shine more than just the usual display of technical fludity, which is mandatory anyway for any solid jazz musician.

And the man on one of my favorite instruments of all time is fiddling away like shining star, radiating unbelievable creativity at the avant-garde/fusion galaxies where people like Coltrane or Jean-Luc Ponty used to travel. What really makes this effort even more interesting are some of these ideas that exhibit some melancholic spiritualism, such as the threnodial number of "Stillness" that carries some folk baggage within its spheres of lamentation. Such a great and simple bass riff there as well. Superb! "Love in the Garden" stumbles on the plains of the same arcane spiritualism that Mahavishnu Orchestra used explore. It even reminds me of an ambient scape. The similarities fortunately aren't overbearing as the amount of interpetrational weight is just staggering in Seifert's expressive strokes of virtuosity.

Truly stunning interaction, interpretation and execution of musical ideas.

This exceptional album by Polish violin virtuoso / composer Zbigniew Seifert was the first major exposure of his talents outside of his motherland. Legendary MPS producer Joachim Berendt, who had close ties to the Polish Jazz scene, was aware of Seifert's incredible talent and managed to pull off this recording session, bringing on board a superb team of players, which consisted of German pianist Joachim Kuhn and an American rhythm section: bassist Cecil McBee and drummer Billy Hart. Dutch pianist Jasper van`t Hof also participates on one track. Seifert composed all the music on this album, which is a great example of typical Eastern European Jazz, which cleverly combines elements of modern American Jazz, especially that of John Coltrane, with Folklore and Classical influences. Seifert's "obsession" with Coltrane's music and his improvisational technique are plainly evident, especially during the up-tempo numbers. The album's title track is dedicated to Coltrane's pianist McCoy Tyner. Hearing the album 37 years after it was recorded makes one realize how great music gets better with time, losing absolutely nothing of its initial grandeur. Both Seifert and Kuhn play some incredible solos here and the rhythm section supports them admirably every step of the way. Tragically, just three years after this music was recorded Seifert died, stricken by cancer, before his endless potential was realized and recognized properly. Seifert managed to record several albums in the US before his untimely death, but this album is definitely his most important and most perfect legacy.
Absolutely essential!


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    1. New link:

      ZBIGNIEW SEIFERT – Man Of The Light (LP-1977)

  2. Great album. I bought the LP and the CD when it came out. He had a very distinctive sound which I love. I'm going to listen to it again right now..

  3. This is for me one of the best jazz albums of similar orientation. Even better than Mahavishnu Orchestra works!
    All six tracks are unusually brilliant. It's a great pity that Seifert died so young.

  4. Vitko I am a 70's fusion addict and this is NEW to me! Thanks for the listen!!!

  5. I thank for all great music. Vitko your blog is superb.
    Sasha from Ljubljana, Slovenia

  6. i'm not much of a violin guy, but this recording sure does sound interesting
    and worth checking out,
    thank you very much