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Krzysztof Scieranski - No Radio CD (album) cover

NO RADIO

Krzysztof Scieranski

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.00 | 1 ratings

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Andy Webb
Forum & Site Admin Group
Site and Forum Admin
3 stars One of my favorite things about ProgArchives is the little effort needed to find incredibly obscure and high quality artists of all shapes and sizes. Just a few weeks ago, one of my most recent discoveries was a little-known Polish jazz fusion bassist Krzysztof Scieranski, a name near unpronounceable by non-Polish speakers. The man has been making plenty of interesting fusion since the early 1980s, a golden time in Polish youth culture. Scieranski had been playing bass with various bands since the 70s, but his solo career as a jazz fusion bassist, specializing in funk fusion and fusion with a subtle "smooth" touch without seeming cheesy, didn't kick off until he released his 1983 debut "Bass Line." From '83, he continued to record with various other projects, as well as releasing a second album in 1984. He didn't return to his solo career, however, until releasing his 1993 opus "No Radio" with his guitar, bass, and drum trio.

While the album is only his third solo album, the album comes fully loaded with a set of 8 well-crafted and well-executed tracks from the seasoned Polish bassist. Seeing as Scieranski is the namesake of the album, bass often supersedes the guitar and drum tracks, but Scieranski's skill with his fretless instrument shines beautifully on its own, showing the man's many years of practice and honing his prolific ability. Whether he is slapping, sliding, or just plucking along, Scieranski, along with fellow fusioners Pawel Scieranski (guitars) and Jan Pluta (drums) are effortlessly able to mesh as a cohesive group of creative jazz musicians, improvising over Scieranski's fun and upbeat fusion frames. Each member of the trio acts as a support for the other, whether Pluta is contributing a solid rhythmic foundation, P. Scieranski is accentuating some theme with an ambient or atmospheric guitar nuance or K. Scieranski himself is laying down the solid groundwork for which bassists are most well-known for, the whole album is teeming with beautifully cohesive instrumental prowess.

Scieranski seems to take a lot of influence from Jaco Pastorius, heavily using bass harmonics as a melodic technique, using jazz scales in a funky way, and utilizing the electric fretless bass with ease. His melodic tendencies as a composer often dip into the "soft" area; he utilizes warm, clean guitar tones and a gentler production atmosphere to brighten the heavy use of atmospheric bass harmonics, guitar swaths, and continuous use of the ride cymbal. In general, however, this seems to add a small layer of cheese to his otherwise very creative and fresh fusion. Of course, Scierenski knows how to bop as well, as songs like Touching You and Where is That Girl (already cheesy song titles, I know) can get into a very solid groove.

Overall, my discovery of Krzysztof Scieranski (eventually I will be able to type that name without a guide, hopefully) has been a good one. The man has solid grooves, a great tone, and a knack for writing melodious, well-developed funk-fusion. The album, "No Radio," is in no way groundbreaking in the fusion world, but Scieranski shows that he is no doubt a capable fusion bassist, and I recommend this very fun fusion album to anyone who enjoys fusion bass with an emphasis on atmosphere (the last two tracks are almost solely atmospheric bass soloing) and a slightly soft fringe quality. In the end, however, the album is very good. 3 stars.

Andy Webb | 3/5 |

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