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Józef Skrzek - Ojciec chrzestny Domnika CD (album) cover


Józef Skrzek

Eclectic Prog

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4 stars Josef Skrzek - Ojciec Chrzestny Domnika (1980)

Keyboardist, vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Josef Skrzek is perhaps the main figure of the Polish progressive rock scene of the seventies. After playing with Niemen he re-established SBB (strongly recommended eclectic prog with space, fusion and symphonic influences) and made a string of very strong albums. With SBB again disbanded in 1980, Josef Skrzek made an attempt to make a symphonic masterpiece once more with this OCD album. This album can be perceived as Skrzek's 'Tubular Bells', as he plays most of the instruments.

On this solo effort the music can be described as keyboard-oriented symphonic progressive rock with both bombastic and melodic tendencies. There are baths of synths, heavy church organ passages, intimate vocal passages and sections with electric guitar, percussion and harmonica. The rhythmical section isn't as important as on most SBB albums. The recording is very bombastic, as if the side filling pieces were played in a church.

The first piece is my favourite of the two. After a bombastic symphonic opening section we are launched into a poppy, but intimate section with great vocals of Skrzek. The vocals are in Polish, but I'm used to that. After this begins a string of melodic symphonic passages with lots of interesting and innovative features. We get to hear harmonica, vocals in original keys and some parts with percussion. On side two Skrzek moves toward mild symphonic prog, evoking Alan Parson's Project at times. This could be perceived as regression, but the instrumental sections are still very strong and the sympho bathing is soothing.

Conclusion. A good attempt to create a very symphonic, yet original album that will be attractive for fans of keyboard-driven progressive rock and SBB fans that 'haven't had enough'. Furthermore, fans of light symphonic prog might be interested. The strong three and halve stars rating seems to be the logical choice here.

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Posted Tuesday, December 6, 2011 | Review Permalink

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