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Skrzek, Jozef - 1981 Jozefina
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on August 13 2015, In 1981 Articles , 1 Comment , 417 Reads , Print

ARTIST: Skrzek, Jozef
ALBUM: Jozefina
LABEL: Wilfon
YEAR: 1981
CD REISSUE: 2002, Universal Music Polska, 064 338-2


LINEUP: Jozef Skrzek - vocals, piano, fender rhodes, hammond organ, Organ, clavinet, polymoog, minimoog, bass, cowbell * Halina Fracowaik - vocals * Antymon Apostoius, Johannes Biebl - guitar * Slawomir Brewer - acoustic, electric guitar * Jerzy Piotrowski - drums * Andrzej Olejniczak - sax * Tomasz Szukalski - sax, bass clarinet * Jan Skrzek - harmonium

TRACK LISTING: 01 Transient Touch * 02 Hung-Under * 03 Inspired By Yesterday * 04 The Bird * 05 King, Queen, Knave * 06 Firefly * 07 Josephine * 08 Cloud Power * 09 The Theme * 10 Singer, Oh Singer

WEBLINKS: www.skrzek.com

Polish musician Jozef Skrzek is a national treasure. After playing in a variety of bands in the very late 60's, he formed the seminal SBB (Silesian Blues Band) in 1971. Anyone with a remote interest in Eastern Euro progressive rock should pick up 1975's 'Nowy Horyzont' (Now Horizon) and 'Follow My Dream' from 1978 and that's just for starters. While Skrzek is still a member of SBB and putting out great new work, his prolific solo career has been as equally interesting if not more so. Albums like 1979's 'Pamietnik Karoliny' (Carolina Diary) and his 1980 magnum opus 'Ojciec Chrzestny Dominika' (The Godfather Dominica) are must haves for any discerning prog fan along with this crossover jewel which will certainly appeal to Glory Daze readers.

The Songs
Featuring members of SBB, 'Jozefina' moves away from the longer pieces found on his earlier solos into commercial territory with shorter songs. Despite its dark, gothic looking sleeve musically it's comparable to both Supertramp and 'Periscope Life' era Kayak and it's a pleasant listen. Everything is sung in English and Skrzek's Roger Hodgson styled vocals are augmented by award winning female vocalist Hallina Frackowaik. Songs like the uplifting despite its title 'Hung-Under', the early Jefferson Starship vibrations of 'Firefly' and the plaintive 'Josephine' all benefit from Frackowaik's angelic pipes, the latter reminding me of Kayak's big hit 'Ruthless Queen'. There's plenty of Supertramp styled sax and harmonica found on the album and my favourite cut happens to be the set's longest. Clocking in over 6 minutes 'The Theme' sounds like something off 'Even In The Quietest Moments..' with a touch of mid-period Barclay James Harvest as well. It's a marvelous piece of progressive pop on a remarkable album that's well worth a track down.

In Summary
Jozef Skrzek continues to put out music at a remarkable rate and while not all of it is up to the quality of 'Jozefina' or the other albums I mentioned, he's definitely unique and rarely disappoints.

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Facebook Comments
#1 | AOR Lee on August 18 2015 17:11:20
Enjoyed this review, opening another door into that undercelebrated East Europe AOR scene. More please
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