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MICHAL URBANIAK

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Poland


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Michal Urbaniak picture
Michal Urbaniak biography
"As a boy prodigy violinist, I played many recitals and concerts with philharmonic orchestras. I took part in competitions for adults and was awarded a scholarship to study in Moscow with the famous David Ojstrach. At the same time I fell in love with American Jazz along with it's culture and a passion for this other musical life began to emerge. One might say that after I began to play Jazz I felt as though a second musical identity came to being. Dr. Jekyll was the straight A student in music school practicing intensely everyday until the afternoon. After which Mr. Hyde would appear experimenting with the new sound of Jazz at local clubs and bars. I dreamed of a time in my life when these two musical identities of mine could be combined somehow.

However, much time passed before my dream could become a reality. I made a promise to my mother that I would not take that scholarship for violin in Moscow. I put the violin aside altogether and began traveling the world as a young saxophonist. I left Poland for good knowing that playing with promising young musicians who played real American Jazz there is more to learn than anywhere in Europe, at least at that time. So I finally came to live in the New York I dreamed of for years and the victory was sweet.

Eight years after I thought I had given up the violin for good I dusted it off and arduously began to teach it to play Jazz as I had done with the saxophone. As a jazz violinist I started a band in which I began connecting the music of my youth and all my experiences of jazz, rock and funk. I was never indifferent to what I heard around me and that is how Fusion came to exist. The experimentation of many musical elements and seeing how they can be used to compliment and ignite each other was fascinating. In New York I discovered a group of incredible young musicians from Jamaica Queens whose innocence, passion, professionalism and profound precision enabled this experimentation to take place. After playing Fusion for a while my music began to evolve further into Acid Jazz; combining the melodic soul of Jazz with the then very fresh beats of Hip hop.

Shortly after the release of Urbanator I felt the need to introduce my classical roots to the new sound of Hip Hop. An official meeting of both loves was due. So, on 27th of January 1995, for the first time in the history of music, a rapper preformed with a philharmonic orchestra. That day I had proved to myself that which I knew always to be...
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Take Good Care Of My HeartTake Good Care Of My Heart
SteepleChase 2010
$14.94
$13.76 (used)
Miles Of BlueMiles Of Blue
WEA POLAND 2013
$29.49
$29.73 (used)
Folk Songs, Children's Melodies, Jazz Tunes and OthersFolk Songs, Children's Melodies, Jazz Tunes and Others
Antilles
$1.95
$2.99 (used)
Fusion IIIFusion III
Wounded Bird Records 2012
$46.75 (used)
FusionFusion
Remastered
Sony 1998
$49.98 (used)
EcstasyEcstasy
Brownstone Records 2011
$15.99
UrbaniakUrbaniak
Inner City Records 2016
$11.21
$10.67 (used)
AtmaAtma
WEA POLAND 2014
$22.30 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
MICHAL URBANIAK-FRIDAY NIGHT AT THE VILLAGE VANGUARD-JAPAN CD Ltd/Ed B63 USD $13.50 Buy It Now 3h 49m
MICHAL URBANIAK FOLK SONGS CHILDREN'S MELODIES OOP HTF CD POLISH JAZZ MUSICIAN USD $8.99 Buy It Now 9h 37m
Michal Urbaniak with Horace Parlan Trio ?- Take Good Care Of My Heart VINYL USD $7.80 [0 bids]
9h 55m
Michal Urbaniak* ?- Serenade For The City VINYL USD $7.15 [0 bids]
10h
Michal Urbaniak ?- Ecstasy Label: Marlin ?- 2221 VINYL LP Album USD $19.44 Buy It Now 13h 13m
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MICHAL URBANIAK Y Note STILL SEALED 1989 USA PROMO Radio CD Single USD $14.99 Buy It Now 2 days
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MICHAL URBANIAK CONSTELLATION In Concert LP POLSKIE POLISH JAZZ VOL. 36 US 1973 USD $18.99 Buy It Now 4 days
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MICHAL URBANIAK Nanava 7" VINYL UK Motown 1980 B/W Joy (Tmg1208) Has Radio USD $9.53 Buy It Now 7 days
Polish JAZZ * MICHAL URBANIAK Constellation LIVE in Concert LP MUZA POLAND USD $29.90 Buy It Now 7 days
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MICHAL URBANIAK ?Serenade For The City LP Motown ?M7-944 1980 SEALED PROMO 14G USD $17.98 Buy It Now 7 days
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fusion iii LP, MICHAL URBANIAK,Very Good, vinyl with cover art- VG/VG-aged coll USD $12.99 Buy It Now 8 days
Michal Urbaniak LIVE RECORDING Polish Jazz vol.24 - Vinyl LP Near Mint USD $39.50 Buy It Now 8 days
Michal Urbaniak:Urban Express, 1989 Jazz-Fusion Violin LP USD $9.83 Buy It Now 8 days
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Michal Urbaniak Urszula Dudziak Tribute to Komeda MPS USD $49.95 Buy It Now 12 days
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MICHAL URBANIAK discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

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

3.94 | 12 ratings
Inactin
1971
3.17 | 5 ratings
Paratyphus B
1972
4.00 | 3 ratings
Super Constellation
1973
3.97 | 10 ratings
Atma
1974
3.94 | 15 ratings
Fusion
1974
3.29 | 15 ratings
Fusion III
1975
3.42 | 10 ratings
Body English
1976
4.00 | 6 ratings
Urbaniak
1977
2.67 | 3 ratings
Ecstasy
1978
3.52 | 6 ratings
Heritage
1978
1.95 | 3 ratings
Urban Express
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
Serenade For The City
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
My One And Only Love
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
Facts Of Life (as Urbaniak Coryell Band)
1983
0.00 | 0 ratings
Take Good Care Of My Heart
1984
4.50 | 2 ratings
Cinemode
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
Songs For Poland
1989
4.00 | 2 ratings
Songbird
1990
4.00 | 2 ratings
Manhattan Man
1992
0.00 | 0 ratings
Some Other Blues
1994
0.00 | 0 ratings
Urbanator
1994
2.00 | 2 ratings
Urbanator II
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Code Blue
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
Decadence (soundtrack)
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
UrbSymphony
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Urbanizer
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
I Jazz Love You
2004
3.00 | 2 ratings
Sax Love
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Polish Wind
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Miles of Blue
2009

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

3.86 | 7 ratings
In Concert
1973
0.00 | 0 ratings
Friday Night At the Village Vanguard
1985
0.00 | 0 ratings
Jazz Legends
1993
0.00 | 0 ratings
Live in Holy City
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
From Poland with Jazz
2002
4.25 | 4 ratings
Michal Urbaniak's Group (Polish Jazz serie)
2005

MICHAL URBANIAK Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

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

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

MICHAL URBANIAK Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Paratyphus B by URBANIAK, MICHAL album cover Studio Album, 1972
3.17 | 5 ratings

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Paratyphus B
Michal Urbaniak Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

3 stars 3.5 stars. I think I own six studio albums by this very talented Polish band and all of them are excellent but this happens to be my least favourite. So it's tough not giving this 4 stars but it's the most avant and experimental album that this band has done so what for me is my least favourite could well be your favourite depending on your tastes. A six piece at this point with Michal's incredible violin and horn work along with his wife's beautiful vocal melodies standing out.

"Paratyphus B" is led mostly by violin early before other sounds start to come and go throughout. It kicks in with electric piano, drums and spacey sounds late to end it. "Valium" opens with sax and keys before the violin arrives. Dissonant sounds after 2 minutes along with some energetic percussion. It's chaotic after 3 minutes then turns jazzy after 5 minutes. Female vocal melodies join in too. Spacey sounds join in before 7 minutes. Sax to the fore before 10 minutes.

"Irena" is uptempo with vocals, violin, keys and more before calming right down with some jazzy piano and bass. Big finish too. "Winter Piece" is jazzy with female vocal melodies, bass and drums standing out. Violin too and this is a little crazy 1 1/2 minutes in before it kicks back in before 3 minutes.

"Sound Pieces" kicks in quickly but calms right down with violin. This is experimental as sounds come and go but no melody. It turns more intense but no less avant here. Vocal expressions too then we get another calm before 5 minutes with electric piano leading this time. The tempo picks up with bass and drums helping out. Another calm then it picks up around 6 1/2 minutes. Bass and drums lead around 11 minutes and the violin returns a minute later. It then leads 13 minutes in as it settles again. Vocal melodies and more will join in to the end.

Lots to like here but there's better albums by Urbaniak in my opinion.

 Atma by URBANIAK, MICHAL album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.97 | 10 ratings

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Atma
Michal Urbaniak Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Finding out about the music of Michal Urbaniak was such a huge discovery for me. Jazz/Fusion is my favourite of the sub-genres and he does it just the way I like for the most part. A child prodigy with the violin he also commanded the sax and pretty much anything he wants to play. This is a six piece and his wife adds some gorgeous vocal melodies while we get a drummer, bassist and keyboardist who plays clavinet, Fender Rhodes, farfisa and moog. Oh there's a second drummer mainly adding percussion and congas. Just a great sound to this one with my only complaint being with the opener which I'll get to.

"Mazurka" as I mentioned doesn't suit my tastes too well mainly for the traditional Polish music he adds with the violin. I'm so not into traditional music from any country really with that folkish vibe. Here it is with the violin melodies that come and go but at least they are contrasted with spacey sounds. Clavinet arrives before 2 1/2 minutes with those spacey sounds along with drums and bass. Violin takes over a minute later then more clavinet until that traditional sound returns late.

"Butterfly" is such an amazing tune with the Fender Rhodes, unique sounding violin and cymbals to start. Drums, violin and vocal melodies do take over. Such a feel good, summertime vibe here. Back to that opening theme after 1 1/2 minutes as contrasts continue. So good! The violin starts to solo before 3 minutes then back to the contrasts a minute later.

"Largo" opens with atmosphere as bass comes out of this then mournful violin. The sound here is kind of drifting until drums arrive after 2 minutes. Still laid back though. I like this.The violin rips it up late to end it. "Iilex" has a drum intro as bass joins in then violin. It settles back before 1 1/2 minutes then kicks in again as contrasts continue. Some vocal expressions around 3 1/2 minutes. Some fantastic drumming and violin later on.

"New York Batsa" opens with violin as clavinet, drums, bass and more kick in. A calm around a minute but it kicks back in quickly. These contrasts continue. There's some fast paced vocal melodies after 3 minutes sounding pretty cool. "Kama(Part I)" has these haunting vocal melodies that echo and then they get quite experimental. Man she's amazing! "Kama(Part II)" has her doing scats as bass and percussion join in. Vocal melodies follow then more scats as it builds. So good. Violin at 1 1/2 minutes.

"Atma:Yesterday" opens with bass and drums as Fender Rhodes joins in. Nice. Violin before a minute. This is fairly laid back and it sounds great. It does come to life before 3 minutes just before it ends. "Atma:Today" is uptempo with percussion, congas and electric piano once again as the bass and violin join in. "Atma:Tomorrow" has this relaxed start with bass, drums and electric piano. Some clavinet too then violin and farfisa later as it picks up some.

Looking forward to a few more of his releases in the coming months. My kind of music.

 Inactin by URBANIAK, MICHAL album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.94 | 12 ratings

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Inactin
Michal Urbaniak Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by 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.

 Heritage  by URBANIAK, MICHAL album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.52 | 6 ratings

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Heritage
Michal Urbaniak Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

3 stars I will admit it. I collected Michal Urbaniak's albums back in the seventies not for his performance, although he is a fine violin player, but for his wife's vocals. Urszula Dudziak is an amazing performer, an exceptional scat vocalist with a four octave range, and a flair for the bizarre that falls somewhere between Yoko Ono and a space alien.

Urbaniak writes and plays nice, but not spectacular fusion pieces, and has a nice flair on his violin (although he's no competition for the likes of Jean-Luc Ponty). His band is good, as well, although they sound like a hundred other seventies fusion combos.

It's Dudziak who raises the music above the normal. Whether she is just adding background vocal percussion, or taking the lead, she dominates the pieces with her weird vocal brilliance. One question though: Why does Cucu's Nest appear on so many albums?

 Urban Express by URBANIAK, MICHAL album cover Studio Album, 1979
1.95 | 3 ratings

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Urban Express
Michal Urbaniak Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Evolver
Special Collaborator Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams

2 stars I was a fan of Michal Urbaniak back in the seventies, partly because of his excellent violin playing, but moreso because of the vocals of his then wife, Urszula Dudziak. Her unique style of treated scat vocals and four octave range was unlike any other vocalist I've heard before or since. Alas, Urszula is not on this album.

Originally released in 1979 on LP, and reissued in 1990 with a bonus track, this album claims to be a full digital recording. That may be, as the sound is quite good. i wish I could say the same for the music. While Urbaniak plays some good violin solos, the tracks are mostly sequenced sounding synths loops, and awful drum patches. Particularly awful is I Want To Know Your Name, a smooth jazz radio friendly piece of drivel with lame, repetitious lyrics. Kookoo's Nest pales in comparison to the version recorded for Dudziak's "Midnight Rain" album.

The only bright spots are Frantic Lover which alternates between a cool upbeat arrangement (the frantic part, I suppose) and some more mundane verses, and the bonus, Blues For Pinky, obviously a blues piece, that has the best violin solo on the album.

 Body English  by URBANIAK, MICHAL album cover Studio Album, 1976
3.42 | 10 ratings

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Body English
Michal Urbaniak Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars One between Michal Urbaniak "American" albums, but far not the best one. Michal's violin is connected to sound synthesizer, plenty of keyboards from support fill the space, and whole sound is quite polished, over arranged and often openly commercial.

The music itself is still jazz fusion, with many East European folklore elements, some Latin arrangements, and quite cheese in moments. Urszula's vocal is still great, something on Flora Purim's manner, and all music is noticeably influenced by RTF early works. With such difference that RTF never were such cheese, and had a higher musicianship level for sure.

Still not a bad album, but more interesting for Latin/soft fusion fans. And really not the best one between Urbaniak's works.

 Fusion III by URBANIAK, MICHAL album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.29 | 15 ratings

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Fusion III
Michal Urbaniak Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Possibly most popular Polish jazz fusion violinist solo album. Great team of musicians, including drummer Steve Gadd and two excellent jazz fusion guitarists Larry Coryell and John Abercrombie. Important presence of Michal's then-wife Ursula Dudziak (kind of Polish Flora Purim).

Music is strongly influenced by early RTF sound, but played on very funky manner. Melodic, with Eastern European folk elements, rounded pulsation. Or let say - Eastern European funk. Michal violin's sound is not on the front plan, but more like one of supporting instruments. Interesting vocals and rhythm section, plus some guitars work.

Easy accessible listening, with some elements of softer pop-jazz sound. But great album in whole, especially for funky mellow fusion lovers. I prefer Michal's more experimental and spicy works though.

Still 3,5 - for pleasant and not boring funky fusion.

 Urbanator II by URBANIAK, MICHAL album cover Studio Album, 1996
2.00 | 2 ratings

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Urbanator II
Michal Urbaniak Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars If you still remember Michal Urbaniak's great violin fusion from 70-s, just forget it. On this album (twenty years after)he plays some electric violin and sax moments in NY-style lounge jazz. With very dance-floor rhythms, some hip-hop and soul vocals, quite nice funky bass and Latin influenced melodies.

Music is quite high quality pop-funky jazz , and has nothing in common with jazz-rock or any progressive fusion form. Even Michal solos there are more decorative, than musically attractive or interesting. Possibly, product of it's moment, this album is hardly interesting for listening. Not so bad back-up music though.

 Heritage  by URBANIAK, MICHAL album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.52 | 6 ratings

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Heritage
Michal Urbaniak Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Very rare Michal Urbaniak's album. Recorded in Stuttgart, Germany with his Fusion band. Quite different from his earlier works.

Urbaniak's violin isn't soloing instrument there, but part of well balanced fusion sound. Kenny Kirkland, US keyboardist, plays one of his first recordings ever on this album. His keyboards sound is a basis for all compositions on this album and sounds very Corea (RTF time) influenced. Another great musician, participated on this album, was US bassist Tony Bunn, ex -Sun Ra's Intergalactic Research Arkestra member.

Album's music contains jazzy wordless vocals of Michal's wife and well-known Polish jazz- singer Urszula Dudziak, heavily influenced by psychedelic Gong's vocals. All music is extremely interesting combination of melodic Eastern European and funky US early jazz fusion.

Very interesting and pleasant album. Must have work for any serious jazz fusion collection. Extremely rare recordings now, though.

 Fusion by URBANIAK, MICHAL album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.94 | 15 ratings

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Fusion
Michal Urbaniak Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars First Michal Urbaniak album, which was available in US as well. Excellent fusion of its time, recorded in Germany with team of skilled Polish musicians.

Urbaniak plays sax, but his main instrument is for sure violin. Music there is on the level of jazz fusion leaders from mid 70-s. Compositions are very vital, bright, melting Eastern European emotive melodies with light funk. Michal's violin sound often similar to Jean Luc Ponty's , and all music is in a vein of Weather Report or RTF.

Fresh, enough original if a bit lightweight, jazz fusion record from golden genre era. Very recommended for vintage jazz fusion fans.

Thanks to alucard for the artist addition.

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