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19 Nov 2016

Marek Grechuta & Anawa ‎ “Korowód” Poland 1971 Prog Folk Rock

Marek Grechuta & Anawa ‎ “Korowód” Poland 1971 Prog Folk Rock
This is the second album by Polish singer / songwriter / poet Marek Grechuta, one of the most iconic figures on the Polish popular music scene and the most important representative of the Music & Poetry movement in Poland. This is also his second and last album with the group Anawa, which he founded during his student years in Krakow together with fellow architecture student, pianist / composer Jan Kanty Pawluskiewicz. Anawa was an octet, an unusually large ensemble on the Pop scene, and included also bassist / flautist Jacek Ostaszewski, guitarist Marek Jackowski, drummer Eugeniusz Makowka, cellist Anna Wojtowicz, viola player Tadeusz Kozuch and violinist Zbigniew Paleta. The album includes nine tracks, five composed by Pawluskiewicz (including one instrumental), three composed by Grechuta and one by Jackowski (the instrumental intro opening the album). Grechuta wrote lyrics to three of the songs and the remaining four are by some of the Polish poets Grechuta admired: Jan Zych, Konstanty Ildefons Galczynski, Leszek Aleksander Moczulski (closely associated with the legendary Polish group Skaldowie) and Tadeusz Sliwiak.

Musically the albums is light-years ahead of its time and completely different from anything else that was happening on the Pop / Prog scene at the time in Poland or anywhere else for that matter. It amalgamates seemingly conflicting elements like contemporary Classical music, Psychedelia, chanson and cabaret, Jazz and very strong Folklore and World Music influences. Anawa was among the earliest ensembles to be influenced by World Music and it’s not surprising that Ostaszewski and Jackowski would soon after create Ossian, the first full-fledged World Music ensemble in Poland. In addition there is also the omnipresent Polish melancholy, emphasized by the poignant lyrics and sensitive delivery. The short instrumental suite composed by Pawluskiewicz is an absolute masterpiece and a timeless gem in its own right.

Grechuta is a master of his trade and his vocal delivery is simply sublime. Always somewhere in between singing and reciting, his interpretation of the lyrics is exquisitely intelligent and insightful. The entire band performs simply divinely, displaying obvious talents and sensitivity. Such combination of beautiful music performed as perfectly as here is indeed extraordinary. Therefore in retrospect this is simply one of the best Pop / Prog albums ever recorded in Poland and absolutely nothing recorded since comes even close to its perfection. It is completely untouched by time and constantly gets better in contrast to most music created today. It is an absolute must have for every lover of Polish music and no collection of Polish music will be complete without it. This expanded and remastered edition includes eight bonus tracks recorded by the Polish Radio, all of excellent quality, both sonically and musically. Perfection incarnate! ……by...jazzis............
We said it before and we’ll probably say it again but Poland delivered some great and original popmusic over the years. Even in a time when the authorities weren’t supporting ‘Western deviations’. This month we pay homage to a Polish classic from 1971 by the hand of Marek Grechuta and his group Anawa. Korowód (Procession) is an eclectic record mixing influences from classical, folk and jazz under a progressive rock-umbrella. In the center of all this musical mayhem is the steady peron of Grechuta. With a strong voice he recites the poetic lyrics (written by himself or others) giving bitter comment on live in Communist Poland (or so it seems). But how else can a track like ‘Kantata’ be read?

I’ve dreamed about birds without the sky…
I’ve dreamed about horses without the land…
There is no other season here, only winter,
Here is the place heavy like a stone and confusing like a labyrinth,
Here a wall meets a wall, both are alien to each other,
And a fair flower of the sky dies on a stalk of a yard.

Originally an architect Grechuta turned to singing in the sixties when he met the composer Jan Kanty Pawluśkiewicz, with whom he founded the student cabaret Anawa in 1967. In that same year he was awarded second place in the VI National Contest of Student Musicians (VI Ogólnopolski Konkurs Piosenkarzy Studenckich) and also received an award for Tango Anawa, with lyrics written by him and music by Jan Kanty Pawluśkiewicz. Beginning in 1968 he would win several awards at the Festival of Polish Music in Opole. In 1969 he played a minor role in Andrzej Wajda’s film Polowanie na muchy (Hunting Flies). After a first self titled album ‘Korowód’ took things much further artistically. This already becomes evident on opener ‘Widzieć więcej’, an acoustic instrumental, loaded with psychedelic echoes. And a grand orchestral piece like “Nowy radosny dzień” (“New happy day”) definitely needed a bigger budget to make. Although the title of this song suggests otherwise it is again a bitter song. As the funeral drums in the intro fade in slowly the crowd starts to roar slowly turning the song into a soundtrack for a passing army. Grechuta himself is dreaming of better world. Or should we say pleaing, begging for a better world. On Swiecie nasz (Our world) the choir repeats after him:

Our world – Give us a number of clear days!
Our world – Let us wait in the bright day!
Our world – Give to extinguish the fire bad!
Our world – Give us joy, which we seek!
Our world – Give us the flame, steel and sound!
Our world – Give all the heavy gates open!
Our world – Give to overcome any fear!
Our world – Give us a variety of light and joy!

But the absolute keytrack on the album is the title track. A ten minutes long jazzed up, spaced out, folk-rock fury. The song is one big complaint against discrimination, violence, unequal human rights and greed. The lyrics much have had quite and impact in Poland at the time.

Who first attacked each other?
Who appointed the first blow?
Who is the first of us to recognize?
Who are enemies? Who are friends
Who was the first fame and all his pain was for nothing?
And who is not able to sleep not able to cross borders?

Who in the first night devised a great army?
Who was a hero? Who lived and died poorly?
Who was the first lord? Who first became king?
Who had to get up early, and who could sleep too long?

Korowód was the last album Grechuta and Anawad made together. Just after it’s release he left Anawa and founded the band WIEM. However, the songs from the album stayed on his repertoire throughout his career. Building ‘Korowód’ to exercises of 20 to 30 minute long improvisations. He died in 2006….by … europopmusic………. 
A1 Widzieć Więcej - Introdukcja
A2 Kantata
A3 Chodźmy
A4 Świecie Nasz
A5 Nowy Radosny Dzień
B1 Dni Których Nie Znamy
B2 Ocalić Od Zapomnienia
B3 Korowód
B4 Niebieski Młyn 

johnkatsmc5, welcome music..





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