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LABORATORIUM

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Poland


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Laboratorium biography
The end of the 60s was an important period in jazz, as well as rock music, in Poland and the rest of the world, with the development of many styles and trends in popular music. The death of Polish musician KRZYSZTOF KOMEDA marked the end of a particular stage in Polish jazz. In 1970 the jazz rock fusion band, LABORATORIUM was formed in Kraków, although it is necessary to search further back in time for its roots.

JANUSZ GRZYWACZ, LABORATORIUM 's leader, made his first steps in the musical world in Kraków. During his time at high school he regularly lead and performed in bands: OMIACZE, LAMPARTY, TYTANI. MAREK STRYSZOWSKI, GRZYWACZ's neighbour and school companion, also played in these bands. At the time GRZYWACZ also had connections with Kraków's cabaret scene and the emerging STU Theatre.

Later during his college years (Polish studies), JANUSZ GRZYWACZ formed LABORATORIUM. Eventually a five-person line-up came about: JANUSZ GRZYWACZ (piano), MIECZYSŁAW GÓRKA (drums), WACŁAW ŁOZIŃSKI (flute), EDMUND MACIWODA (bass, soon to be replaced by MACIEJ GÓRSKI) and MAREK STRYSZOWSKI, (vocals, bassoon which was later replaced by sax). Their music soon developed in jazz rock fusion, and so were pioneers in this music in Poland. LABORATORIUM's live debut was at the Gitariada '71 festival. In their first years, LABORATORIUM's music was acoustic, cleverly avoiding any limiting definitions. At the beginning of the 70's there was very limited access to Western recordings but this did not prove an obstacle for the band, because of the musicians searching and experimenting in the field. On the contrary and because of their relative isolation, LABORATORIUM developed an unique sound which was often noted in various critical reviews.

The LABORATORIUM's album debut was released in January 1973, consisting of two tracks recorded in April 1972 in a studio belonging to the PR III of the Polish Radio. The recording session was in fact, an award for taking second place on the Jazz Nad Odrą '72 festival. The tracks were noted for their unusual approach both towards harmony and tension-building. The first song 'Chorał' included a vocal fragment by MAREK STRYSZOWSKI. Later his singing was to become an important and significant element of LABORATORIUM's music, often utilising electronic voice-modulation effects.

In 1973 LABORATORIUM were awarded first prize of Jazz Nad Odrą festival, including an award for the best composition (JANUSZ GRZYWACZ's "Prognoza n...
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Laboratorium official website

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Buy LABORATORIUM Music


DiverDiver
Import · Remastered
Metal Mind Poland 2008
Audio CD$20.69
$14.62 (used)
Anthology 1971 - 1988Anthology 1971 - 1988
Box set · Import
Metal Mind Poland 2008
Audio CD$74.75
$74.28 (used)
Quasimodo Polish Jazz vol.58Quasimodo Polish Jazz vol.58
Polskie Radio 2005
Audio CD$17.00
LABORATORIUM Modern Pentathlon - Polish Jazz vol.49LABORATORIUM Modern Pentathlon - Polish Jazz vol.49
Polskie Nagrania - Muza 2004
Audio CD$17.00
Anatomy LessonAnatomy Lesson
Import · Remastered
Metal Mind Poland 2008
Audio CD$9.14
$19.97 (used)
Bialy Kruk Czarnego Krazka (feat. Zbigniew Seifert)Bialy Kruk Czarnego Krazka (feat. Zbigniew Seifert)
Import
Metal Mind Productions
Audio CD$98.98
Blue Light Pilot: LiveBlue Light Pilot: Live
Import · Remastered
Metal Mind Poland 2008
Audio CD$8.12
$19.33 (used)
LaboratoriumLaboratorium
Import
Imports 2012
Audio CD$17.60
$16.50 (used)
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LABORATORIUM discography


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LABORATORIUM top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.62 | 11 ratings
Modern Pentathlon
1976
3.33 | 3 ratings
Diver
1977
4.05 | 11 ratings
Quasimodo
1979
3.67 | 3 ratings
Nogero
1980
3.67 | 3 ratings
No. 8
1984
3.60 | 5 ratings
Anatomy Lesson
1986

LABORATORIUM Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.00 | 3 ratings
Aquarium Live
1977
3.75 | 4 ratings
The Blue Light Pilot
1982

LABORATORIUM Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.10 | 2 ratings
Old School Fusion Live
2008

LABORATORIUM Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.50 | 2 ratings
Anthology 1971 - 1988. Nagrania wszystkie (no... prawie wszystkie).
2006

LABORATORIUM Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

2.50 | 2 ratings
Biały kruk czarnego krążka
1972

LABORATORIUM Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Aquarium Live by LABORATORIUM album cover Live, 1977
3.00 | 3 ratings

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Aquarium Live
Laboratorium Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Janusz Grzywacz admitted on his own words that with ''Modern Pentathlon'' Laboratorium tried to reach a wider audience through the second side tracks, while only the self-ttled jazz suite was actually representitive of the group's sound.Anyway, the goal was reached, as the album eventually sold over 100,000 copies.In 1977 Laboratorium released a second album on the Poljazz label under the title ''Aquarium Live No.1'', this time recorded live in the ''Akwarium" club in Warsaw.For this performance Pawel Valde-Nowak was recruited on congas.

With this release any commercial tendencies are completely gone and the group shows strong similarities with WEATHER REPORT and RETURN TO FOREVER, playing an exotic Jazz/Fusion with lots of improvised parts and great instrumental diversity.However it won't start so well as ''Modern Pentathlon''.The 16-min. long ''Struktura Przestrzeni'' is rather too loose and experimental with little structure and changes between individual performances, resulting an incohesive long and trippy jamming.The remaining four tracks though are absolutely satisfying, presenting a smooth but very rich Jazz/Fusion with nice melodic saxes, virtuosic electric piano and some fiery jazzy guitars.Of course the WEATHER REPORT and RETURN TO FOREVER influences are more than evident, showing a band with little personal imagination but technically very competent and effective.Of all the remaining pieces, the 10-min. ''Flamenco Na Miekko'' seems to be the best and more original composition, being a lovely amalgam of energetic Fusion and Ethnic-based Jazz Rock with incredible piano lines and solos, furious breaks and Latin-inspired tunes coming from Marek Stryszowski's sax.For a great closing, the short ''Dziewiecil'' contains a sound closer to Italians AREA with excellent sax work and very Eastern-based tunes on guitars.

The Metal Mind reissue contains three more extra tracks, recorded live earlier in 1977 at Poliskie Radio Warszawa, featuring the familiar Laboratorium style, full of dreamy electric piano, hypnotic saxes and jazzy exercises.A recommended album for all fans of 70's Jazz/Fusion and lovers of intense jazzy instrumentals.

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 Modern Pentathlon by LABORATORIUM album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.62 | 11 ratings

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Modern Pentathlon
Laboratorium Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars Janusz Grzywacz was the mastermind behind Polish Jazz-Rockers Laboratorium, a band from Krakow formed in 1970 with an original line-up of Mieczyslaw Gorka on drums, Marek Stryszowski on vocals/sax/clarinet, Waclaw Lozinski on flutes and Edmund Maciwoda on bass.Their name appeared for the first time on the 1973 jazz album ''"Klub Plytowy" with two tracks.The following years the band received awards and achieved several important collaborations despite the line-up changes.In 1976 Grzywacz, Gorka and Srryzowski were joined by brothers Krzysztof and Pawel Scieranski on bass and guitars respectively and recorded their debut ''Modern pentathlon'' for Polskie Nagrania Muza, of course at the studios of Polskie Nagrania in Warsaw.

The album is dominated by the 20-min. title track, a really innovative composition somewhat split between improvisation and tightly structured musicianship with the band presenting a unique and attractive sound, where Psychedelic Rock meets Fusion meets Space Jazz and containing all the right elements of a good jazz-oriented composition: Obscure trippy vocals, fast piano paces, hypnotic saxes, spacey atmospheres, district guitars and fiery interplays.This is actually the main reason to buy the album.The second side of the LP is definitely weaker, containg well-performed material but being close to commercial Jazz/Fusion music.Lots of funky vibes on the keyboard, electric piano and bass parts, even some Soul-influenced saxes are present, the guitar work is more prominant but always in a safely-presented style.Some nice and proffesional interplays though are more than decent and holds the listener's interest till the very end.

The 20-min. sidelong opus alone belongs among the finest Jazz/Fusion compositions you can listen to, however the rather accesible approach of the flipside prevents ''Modern pentathlon'' of being a trully essential release.Still it comes recommended for fans of experimental and intricate Jazz-Rock.

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 Modern Pentathlon by LABORATORIUM album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.62 | 11 ratings

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Modern Pentathlon
Laboratorium Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars One of Polish jazz fusion cornerstone, this album was released in 1976 only. Laboratorium was formed in Krakow, intellectual capital of Poland, in 1970, and even had some recordings, made in 1972 (they were released as fan-club release, and re-released later on CD). If neibourhood Czechoslovakia dominated on Eastern European jazz-rock market in early 70-s, Poland with its excellent jazz traditions seriously came on this market a bit later.

Modern Pentathlon is really modern fusion (in sense of mid 70-s) album, keyboards -led and heavily influenced by Chick Corea/RTF. Very relaxed, even funky in moments, but with European traditions (and even Eastern European melodic influences) this album's music is excellent example of high quality Polish fusion of that time. If such musicians, as Michal Urbaniak, who lived and played for years in W.Europe and USA, bring Western fusion traditions on Polish land, Laboratorium grew up on domestic land, and their sound is more "Polish".

Most interesting on this album is its opener - twenty-minutes long composition "Pięciobój nowoczesny". Being of complex structure and some rhythm changes, it is excellent example of progressive jazz fusion. Others songs are good as well, but doesn't add much to album's music.

Good jazz fusion album, one of the most representative from Polish fusion of that time.

My rating is 3,5, rounded to 4.

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 Quasimodo by LABORATORIUM album cover Studio Album, 1979
4.05 | 11 ratings

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Quasimodo
Laboratorium Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Pablo_P

4 stars Quasimodo is the second studio album released by polish jazz-rock band LABORATORIUM. The album was released in 1979 by Polskie Nagrania in the Polish Jazz series as vol. 58. Since their debut album (released in 1976), they released two live albums Aquarium Live and Diver (both in 1977). These few years of playing made this band quite experienced.

The album is rather melodic and balanced. As for a jazz rock release, electric guitar isn't the leading instrument (except a short track Kyokushinkai which is actually a long guitar solo), the album is based mostly on the sound of piano (acoustic and electric) and saxophone. Between longer tracks there are some shorter interludes like Etiudka, Śniegowa Panienka and the intro - Przejazd. Vocal experiments, such characteristic for this band, appear for example in the miniature Lady Rolland. As mentioned, music on this album is rather balanced and tranquil. The example could be the title track with its repetetive but beautiful melody or the ending track An Icon (in memory of Zbigniew Seifert). Title track in my opinion is the highlight of this album but there are also many other memorable melodies.

Overall, it's a good jazz-rock album which could be recommended for all fans of this genre. 4 stars.

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 Modern Pentathlon by LABORATORIUM album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.62 | 11 ratings

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Modern Pentathlon
Laboratorium Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Pablo_P

4 stars Laboratorium is a polish jazz band formed in 1970 in Krakow. Modern Pentathlon is their official debut LP, released in 1976 by Polskie Nagrania in the Polish Jazz series as Vol. 49.

This album is quite an original experience because the band uses an instrument rarely used by jazz-rock bands. This instrument is... voice. I said instrument because Marek Strzyczkowski doesn't sing in a traditional way, but he rather improvises with his voice (which may be compared to Urszula Dudziak's vocalisations). I must say that sometimes it sounds comical.

Apart from vocal experiments, album belongs to the jazz rock genre (with some funky influences). The album's opening track is a long, 20-minutes Pięciobój Nowoczesny which consists of five distinctive parts. This track is the most free on the album, it contains many improvisations and solo parts. The other four, shorter tracks are more regular and melodic. There are some similarities to bands like Weather Report, Return To Forever, or Mahavishnu Orchestra but as I said, this album is quite an original experience. Experiments and originality are sort of written in the band's name.

Overall, Modern Pentathlon is an interesting, original jazz-rock album. 4 stars.

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 Old School Fusion Live by LABORATORIUM album cover DVD/Video, 2008
3.10 | 2 ratings

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Old School Fusion Live
Laboratorium Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Easy Livin
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin

3 stars The class of '78, '82 and '96

Although Polish jazz/fusion band Laboratorium have been around since the early 1970's, this is the first time a visual record of them performing live has been made commercially available. Consequently this DVD, which runs to over 2 hours, offers a snapshot of three different eras in the band's existence. Around 40 minutes is dedicated to each of the years 1978, 1982 and 1996, each consisting of concert footage of the band.

The 1978 footage is of an excellent quality for the period, the band delivering an admirably tight performance. While the music of Laboratorium has a highly improvisational feel, it is evident from passages such as that featuring sax and guitar together, that every note has been carefully rehearsed. The content is predominantly instrumental, but Marek Stryszowski adds some vocalising to songs such as "Śniegowa Panienka" from the then forthcoming "Quasimodo" album. Such vocals are simply used as an additional instrument by the band.

The "Blue light pilot" concert was recorded in Cracow, Poland for a live album of that name released in 1982. Now at last we can hear and see the recording of the four tracks for that album. Musically, it is a case of more of the same, although by this time guitarist Paweł Ścierański has been replaced by Ryszard Styła and the drums stool has also rotated. The film of the gig appears to have been prepared for broadcast at the time, and includes interviews (in Polish with sub-titles) with band members. Watch out too for the awkward looking compare in the bow tie who occupies the stage prior to the encore.

We come relatively up to date for the third gig, the band's 25th Anniversary concert in 1996. Current and former members unite to form a seven man line up who play three tracks plus a reprise from their 1986 (and still most recent) studio album. Once again, interviews are interspersed through the performance, the programme including footage from the 1978 gig. The DVD is rounded off with a "Bonus video" of the 1978 line up performing "Late-coming" from the 1977 "Diver" album.

While jazz rock/fusion is not my genre of choice, this DVD must be an essential purchase for anyone with an interest in the history of this legendary Polish band. The package has obviously been put together with great care and affection, and the band themselves are clearly masters of their craft.

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Thanks to dick heath for the artist addition. and to snobb for the last updates

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