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Michal Urbaniak - Inactin CD (album) cover


Michal Urbaniak


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.94 | 12 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Michal Urbaniak was a child prodigy playing the violin in his native Poland and eventually being accepted at a prestigious school in Moscow to further his training. He declined and instead he took up the sax and travelled throughout Europe mastering his new instrument. He won first place at the Montreaux Jazz Festival in 1971 for his sax work which I must say blows me away that he could master two very different instruments. He and his wife Urszula Dudziak would move to New York City where he would continue to play and eventually join forces with some of the best including Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock, Billy Cobham, Lenny White, Larry Coryell and on and on.

This particular album was released according to this site in 1971, but RYM has 1972 and Discogs has 1973 so lets just say the early seventies. They were a six piece band including his wife Urszula who offers up some incredible wordless vocal melodies on a few tracks reminding me of Pascal Son. We also get Fender Rhodes, congas, drums, clavinet, sax, violin, bass, effects and more. The music is very challenging, almost Free Jazz at times and quite experimental too. This is innovative and adventerous even by today's standards let alone the early seventies.

"Inactin" builds beautifully and the cherry on top is Urszula's wordless vocal melodies. So catchy, and when she stops the violin mimics her vocal lines. Fender Rhodes, intricate drum work and more help out. She's back 3 1/2 minutes in as it calms right down and some experimental sounds arrive including her vocal work. This is avant to say the least including her laughter at one point. It kicks back in before 6 minutes. "Alu" is mellow to start with violin, vocal melodies, bass, Fender Rhodes and more. We even get a bass solo before 1 1/2 minutes. That earlier sound returns 3 minutes in. "Ekim" opens with solo violin before drums and more arrive around a minute in. The violin sounds processed here as the bass, congas and more help out. This is all so interesting and the violin melody really hints at MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA for me. Heck even the atmosphere has Miles Davis all over it.

"Silence" is the shortest tune and the safest. It's mostly violin with touches of bells and Fender Rhodes. "Fall" has these violin expressions, random drum patterns, experimental sounds and bass. No real melody here although the vocal expressions that come and go are kind of catchy. "Groovy Desert" is groovy alright and we get some clavinet here. Great sound. This is far from normal though. Drums and congas help out as well. The groove stops around 1 1/2 minutes. Some Fender Rhodes and check out the drum work too after 3 minutes. That groove returns before 4 minutes. "Lato" opens with sax with shuffling drums and bass. The pace picks up quickly but the tempo will change often on this one. I like the Fender Rhodes, bass, sax and drums after 2 minutes. So much going on. Catchy stuff. Sax leads before 7 minutes.

Man this has been the highlight of my week each time I'd put this on for a listen. And Michal Urbaniak is a name I will hold in high esteem from now on. For fans of adventerous music.

Mellotron Storm | 4/5 |


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