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Michal Urbaniak - Body English  CD (album) cover

BODY ENGLISH

Michal Urbaniak

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.43 | 9 ratings

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Greta007
4 stars I bought this one on vinyl many years ago. The vinyl is gone and all I have left is an MP3 I converted from an old tape of mine.

I bought this during my 'fusion phase' and I was starting to get very picky about my fusion. Trouble is that most fusion bands are simply boring. You get the fabulous musicianship, but often precious little else. Michal Urbaniak's 'Body English' was one of the few fusion albums that has that extra 'x factor', something beyond the standard fusion fare of Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, David Sanborn fare of MOR jazzrock.

Examples of other fusion albums of the time that I felt had that something extra (bearing in mind that I have long been a King Crimson tragic)?

Mahavishnu Orchestra - Birds of Fire Weather Report - Black Market and Heavy Weather Gong's - Shamal Brand X - Unorthodox Behaviour

The link? Strong compositions and the desire to do something different.

If I was to compare Michal U's music on Body English to anyone else, it would have to be Weather Report. The compositions, as I remember them, were excellent and the musicianship as virtuosic as one would expect from a top-drawer fusion act. While I was fond of Jean Luc Ponty's playing, Michal U's tone is richer to my ear and he's technically in the same ball-park.

As for the track that I managed to retain, 'Sevenish', it's a fusion masterpiece. Here MU really let's his gypsy leanings shine through in a song of three parts of three, each time building in intensity. Each major section starts with a rustic melody that calls to mind his native Poland and reminiscent of Ponty, then it goes into what could be called 'scrambled funk', where the solo instrument of the section creeps in which then bursts into full-blown fusion high tempo 7/8 fusion mayhem.

The first solo is synth, then violin, then guitar. Each solo is excellent but the standout to me is the climax of Steve Caro's blistering guitar solo towards the end of the song. Scorching!

If you enjoy sophisticated fusion that's a cut above most, you won't go wrong with this one.

Greta007 | 4/5 |

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