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POLISH JAZZ | Remaster 2016

Two more titles from the "Polish Jazz" series in the new releases of Warner Music Poland:

Polish Jazz vol. 72
Polish Jazz vol. 73



Images: Wojciech Pacuła

No 202

March 1, 2021

The "POLISH JAZZ" series is one of the NATIONAL TREASURES OF POLISH CULTURE - and I say it with full conviction. As part of it, selected, often (but not always) most important albums of Polish jazz were released. This, as far as I know, is the longest running publishing series in the world dedicated to jazz.

YSZARD SIELICKI, the composer and artistic director of the Polskie Nagrania "Muza" publishing house, is considered its "father", but for years it was realized by the musicologist ANDRZEJ KARPIŃSKI. The covers were designed by the best - ROSŁAW SZAYBO and MAREK KAREWICZ. The series was preceded by the album Go Right of the Andrzej Kurylewicz quintet, which was referred to, unofficially, as vol. 0, which was sanctioned in the re-edition of WARNER MUSIC POLAND, which we unofficially call "Remaster 2016" - as in 2016 its first titles were released.

Its editor, Paweł Brodowski, said the following about the Go Right:

In the 1960s, the term "Polish jazz" was consolidated, among others by Andrzej Kurylewicz's band. During his numerous performances in the West, people started talking about the Polish jazz school. It has become such a phenomenon as the Polish poster school or the Polish film school. It is the album of Andrzej Kurylewicz's quintet Go Right that is considered to be the informal beginning of this series. It is basically a no. zero album, not yet marked with the "Polish Jazz" logo, but a kind of beginning of this series.

⸜ WOJCIECH PRZYLIPIAK, Seria „Polish Jazz", czyli Polska Szkoła Jazzu, March 26th 2016, see HERE; accessed: 05.02.2021.

The series was officially initiated in 1963, when the WARSAW STOMPERS album entitled New Orleans Stompers, vol. 1 was released and the last album, with number 76, was released in 1989 when the Lonesome Dancer by LORA SZAFRAN was released. It should be noted that the PJ was not the only jazz series released in Poland. Discs under the name PolJazz were published by the Polish Jazz Association, and from the late 1970s, Polish jazz was also released on the records by Helicon Records, a record label founded by the International Jazz Federation. There is a consensus, however, that PJ was after all the most prestigious series.

In 2016, i.e. after a 27-year break, Polskie Nagrania returned to this idea and reactivated it. The first album that was released was the ZBIGNIEW NAMYSŁOWSKI QUINTET’S Polish jazz - YES! with number 77 - this is how the label celebrated the musician's 77th birthday .


MOST PJ albums WERE RE-ISSUED, first on LP, and after 1989 some of them were also released on CDs. All these trials were incomplete and selective. They focused on the so-called "sure things", or titles that guarantee sales at a level that allows you to finance the costs of the new remaster and the release itself. The decision of Warner Music Poland to release the ENTIRE series of Polish Jazz, both on Compact Discs and Long Play (180 g), must therefore be accepted with the utmost recognition and respect.

PAWEŁ BRODOWSKI, the editor-in-chief of the Jazz Forum magazine, a jazz expert, became the editor of the project, which was spread out for many years. In press materials, he said:

It is difficult to indicate a similarly valuable music series on our side of Europe. The release of an album with the "Polish Jazz" logo was an extraordinary honor. It includes albums of exceptional artists, Namysłowski, Komeda, Kurylewicz, Trzaskowski, Wróblewski, traditional, innovative and experimental jazz.

The idea was to release six albums in the series every quarter, both on CD and vinyl. The first group included: ANDRZEJ KURYLEWICZ QUINTET’s Go Right KRZYSZTOF KOMEDA QUINTET’s Astigmatic, EWA BEM WITH SWING SESSION’s Be a Man, NOVI’s Bossa Nova, TOMASZ STAŃKO’s TWET and EXTRA BALL’s Birthday. Our review of all these titles can be found HERE (HF № 146 • June 1st 2016).

So far - along with two new titles - 42 albums from the basic catalog and 9 new albums have been released. So we are already half way there.

The latest re-edition of the "Polish Jazz" series has been prepared with great care. Polskie Nagrania took care of a high-class remaster, new texts and a modern graphic design with 20-page booklets attached to the CDs (in Polish and English), illustrated with many photographs. PRZEMYSŁAW POMARAŃSKI was the photo editor of archival photos and covers, and ŁUKASZ HERNIK became the creator of the new graphic design. The authors of the texts for the first albums were: Jan Borkowski, Tomasz Szachowski, Tomasz Tłuczkiewicz and Michał Wilczyński.

JACEK GAWŁOWSKI from JG Master Lab has remastered the albums that have been released so far from the original master tapes. This is the man responsible for remasters of album by, among others, Niemen, Maanam, etc. (Jacek Gawłowski's profile HERE). The tapes were ripped in the archives of Polskie Nagrania on a Studer A80 tape recorder, and after each track - as Jacek recalled - the head had to be cleaned. The material was converted from the tape to digital files using the Apogee A/D converter - first titles in 24 bits and sampling rate of 88.2 kHz, later titles of 176.4 kHz. The remastering process was carried out in the digital domain.

VOL. 72 & VOL. 73

The RHYTH OF RELEASING SIX CDs PER QUARTER could not be maintained, although initially we did receive more titles like clockwork. The reason is prosaic - with such a large project, the initial assumptions are only a set of wishes, verified by possibilities and circumstances. Over time, the intervals between successive releases grew longer, until in 2018 the mode was changed to 3 + 3, with a short break between the three. The pandemic meant that this time we got only two titles:

⸜ YOUNG POWER Young Power, Polish Jazz vol. 72
⸜ JAROSŁAW ŚMIETANA Sounds & Colours, Polish Jazz vol. 73

However, it is not the number that is most important, and something else. This is the first time that it was not Jacek Gawłowski who was responsible for the remaster of the material, but KAMIL KAROLAK. What’s more, the LP discs were pressed in a different plant than the Czech CZ Vinyl and released on colored vinyl. These types of re-release choices are crucial because they are part of the artistic creation. So it is a pity that the publisher did not disclose the reasons for these changes.

We review both titles while listening to the albums in the "High Fidelity" reference system. The LP discs were played on the TRANSROTOR ALTO RMD turntable with the SME M2 tonearm and the SHELTER HARMONY cartridge. The CDs were compared on the SACD AYON AUDIO CD-35 HF EDITION player. For comparison, we obtained all previous album releases, both on vinyl and digital discs.

»vol. 72«

Young Power
Polish Jazz vol. 72


YOUNG POWER IS A BAND THAT MANY MUSICIANS PLAYED IN and it recorded only three albums. Founded in 1986 by KRZYSZTOF POPEK (flute) KRZYSZTOF ZAWADZKI (percussion instruments), it kept performing until 1990, although formally it was never resolved. The material for the debut album was recorded a few months after the sensational debut of Young Power at the Jazz nad Odrą festival in Wrocław in 1986 and released a year later by Polskie Nagrania as one of the last items of "Polish Jazz" series.

YOUNG POWER the first release

Dionizy Piątkowski, in his review of the band's debut album, simply entitled Young Power, says that the 1980s of Polish jazz were the period of "young lions", young power of this music. Studying in music schools, where the jazz bug was already freely preferred, suggested just such a creation.

As it reads in press materials, the performance at Jazz nad Odrą festival was supposed to be just a one-off event. And next:

The impact was so great that the band transformed into a regular formation and became the attraction of the largest festivals. The very name of the band contained a manifesto and a challenge. In the post-martial law atmosphere of apathy, grayness, general stagnation and disappointment, the emergence of the Young Power announced an outburst of the young generation, an injection of fresh blood, energy, vitality, fantasy and humor.

Jesienne nowości w serii POLISH JAZZ!,, accessed: 01.02.2021.

The group released only three albums: their reviewed debut in 1988, the Nam Myo Ho Renge Kyo, and in April and August 1989 the third Man of Tra album featuring Michał Urbaniak and Tomasz Stańko. From the musical side of these releases, one can speak of eclecticism, and even - like the publisher - of a stylistic mish-mash, "a kaleidoscope of many different elements". You can hear jazz-rock and fusion, free and modal, rhythm and blues, soul, rock and roll, heavy-metal, punk rock, Afro-Cuban and reggae rhythms in it.


1. wydanie: 1987 | Re-issue: 18.09.2020

1987 | Polskie Nagrania SX 2525
2020 | Warner Music Poland 9 51785 6

1991 | Polskie Nagrania PNCD 171
2020 | Warner Music Poland 9 51609 7

The YOUNG POWER IS NOT AN ALBUM that contemporary jazz fans would mention too often. This can be seen in the number of reissues - this is the first vinyl re-issue, and only second one on CD, and - in fact - for the first time in the original version. But both new versions - the LP and the CD - bring something new to the entire "Remaster 2016" series.

LONG PLAY The material for the Young Power was recorded in September 1986 in the Polish Radio Studio in Poznań by Piotr Kubacki and Andrzej Bąk. Which is unusual, because most of the PJ discs were made in the Polskie Nagrania recording studio. The cover is also unusual, not being the work of Marek Karewicz, and "M. MAKOWSKI ", that is Mirosław Ryszard Makowski - Polish designer, photographer, journalist and blogger. In the 1970s and 1980s, he was a photojournalist in the monthly "Jazz" and "Magazyn Muzyczny".

⸜ Re-issue YOUNG POWER from 2020

Long Play was pressed on a colored vinyl, a so-called "splatter vinyl", that is with a colored underlayer and a colorful addition that gives an impression of a "splatter" on the surface of the record. This looks nice, but makes track selection difficult - you can't see gaps between songs.

This is not the first time that the album from the "Polish Jazz" series uses a different than black color. Let me remind you that for the first time the color took on the album Astigmatic, by Komeda's quintet, prepared especially on the occasion of Record Store Day, a celebration of independent record stores. Its premiere took place June 13th 2019 (more in the article on all editions of the Astigmatic, HERE).

It was then that new rules for the PJ re-edition were established: the discs were to be colored, pressed in the Warsaw pressing plant WM FONO, and instead of a foil, antistatic sleeves, they were to be inserted into cardboard envelopes with a summary of materials prepared for CD releases was to be printed. Apparently it was a trial, something like a test, and its results must have turned out to be satisfactory, because on May 15th 2020 12 full color discs were released - three of them came from the PJ series. It was a series with which the publishing house celebrated its jubilee - 55 years on the market.

So it is not true what about the re-editions of the two titles we are writing about this time, one can read on the website of the publishing house: "For the first time, vinyl will also include a modern commentary - the content of the CD booklet with photos printed on the inner envelope"; (LINK, accessed: 01.02.2021).

The graphic design of the re-edition of the Young Power differs in details from the original. The new version received a spine that was not present in the older version. The logotype of Polskie Nagrania, used since the 1980s, was also edited (the so-called "note") and the Polish Jazz logo was moved to the left, in its place. All titles and texts on the back cover have been rewritten, albeit in a similar font to the original; a bar-code and information about the publisher were also added. However, the label in the middle has been completely changed. In the original it was a classic "banana-colored" label, and in the new version it is black and has a changed layout. The new album was pressed on 180 g vinyl.

COMPACT DISC The Young Power is re-released on CD for the first time in its original form. Already in 1991, however, you could hear some of the tracks from it in the digital version. At that time, Polskie Nagrania released an album with the same title, but with a changed cover, by PIOTR KŁOSK. The album includes material selected from the band's first two albums. Interesting fact - the disc was pressed in Hungary, because there was no CD pressing plant in Poland at that time. We don't know who prepared the remaster for the 1991 re-edition, only the SPARS code: ADD was written on the cover.

⸜ Re-issue YOUNG POWER on CD – from 2020 (on the left) and from 1991

However, it is known who is responsible for the latest version, that is from 2020: KAMIL KAROLAK. This is not the first re-release of Polskie Nagrania albums which this sound engineer took part in. Let me remind you that in 2017 he prepared a remaster for the Niemen vol. 1 and Niemen vol. 2 (more HERE), as well as off-series albums with Polish jazz, such as Torpedo by NOVI Singers. Kamil Karolak is a musician (drums, keyboards), producer (Magdalena Tul Mindfulness), who works at Warner Music Poland as an A&R Coordinator.

The new version of the CD was released in an exceptionally well-prepared form, with an interesting booklet, photos, etc. The editor of the series, Paweł Brodowski, is signed under the text.


LONG PLAY The original edition of Young Power surprises, I mean truly surprises, with a very wide frequency range, from the upper treble to the lowest bass, as well as exceptionally high dynamics. Such things did not happen in Polish releases, especially in that period. And here - we have a huge volume, a very good depth of the sound stage and a very well-extended band. Also the definition of the sounds is great, as if the album was pressed by one of the western labels at its best.

The remastered LP version also surprised me with higher tracking noise and slightly more pops&cracks than the original - and it is usually the opposite. But it is also a slightly different sound. It seems warmer and denser. The original is shamelessly dynamic, even exhibitionistic in this dynamics and opening of the sound. The colored remaster sounds warmer, slightly lower and more conservative. However, it shows the timbre of instruments, both percussion and others, in a nicer way.

The sound of the new version is given closer to the base of the speakers, closer to us, which usually suggests more compression - and, I assume, rightly so. But compression as such isn't a bad thing, it's abuse is bad. Here, at the expense of slightly calming down the dynamics, I got a better picture of the whole, less chaotic, better organized and orderly.

⸜ Color LP YOUNG POWER from 2020

Young Power in its first release it is an incredibly dynamic and open recording. This is a great realization! You can get this version in perfect condition for relatively little money. This is a release with low noise and negligible pops&cracks - to tell the truth, I have never heard anything like this from the pressing of Polskie Nagrania from the 1980s.

But the remaster, at the price of a slight extinction of the opening and dynamics, offers nicer timbres and order, which on the original release changed into chaos in some fragments. The new version has a higher stylus travel noise than the original, and it creaks a bit more, which is also worth taking into account when making a decision. And this one won't be easy - I can't even name my favorite myself, both versions are equally interesting.

Sound quality: 8/10

COMPACT DISC |1991| The 1991 digital re-issue has a tonality similar to that of a vinyl remaster on colored vinyl. It is warmer than the vinyl original and less obtrusive. It has surprisingly well rendered frequency range extremes, although the midrange is a bit closed in, it lacks the clarity and resolution that we will hear with the latest remaster. This is how you hear the limitations of analog-to-digital converters from the turn of the 1980s and 1990s.

The digital version from the "gray" series is really good, it sounds good. But also its sound is a bit "square", precisely because it is not resolving enough. The dynamic contrasts have been perfectly preserved, which gives the whole the required momentum. The downside is slight - I have to say that - “grayness” of the whole presentation, the sound of the instruments is not as well differentiated as in the original analog version and in the new digital version.

YOUNG POWER on CD – from 1991 (on the left) and from 2020

|2020| The 2020 Compact Disc re-edition has a timbre very similar to the digital remaster from 1991. It is quite a warm sound, with a clearly lower center of gravity than on the original vinyl. And yet the wild energy of the original has been preserved and something else has been added that all other versions lack - depth of the stage. Only in this version, i.e. the digital re-edition from 2020, you hear the layers that make up the jungle-imitating polyphony that opens the track First And Last. They are plastic and scalable, that is, the further away the sound is a bit smaller, but not too small.

The 2020 version also offers nice timbre and great bass extension. This is an extremely important instrument, probably one of the most important here - this album is ruled by rhythm. But also the trombone from B.E.D. sounded great, low and dense. The average volume level in the re-edition is very similar to the first remaster, but it seems that everything is a bit quieter, less obtrusive and better organized.

Sound quality: 8/10


YOUNG POWER’s Young Power is a very interesting case. The starting material is excellent and despite a very dense mix of many instruments and layers, high dynamics and clarity have been maintained, without falling into flashiness. The vinyl remaster extinguishes this dynamics a bit, but introduces even more order and clarity to the presentation.

The digital reissue is just as good, maybe even better. With it we get a very good depth of the stage - something that is missing in all previous releases, and also in the new LP remaster. To varying degrees, but still. We also get a very well-controlled bass with nice filling and weight - it is better than on the LP and the earlier CD re-release.

»vol. 73«

Sounds & Colours
Polish Jazz vol. 73


JAROSŁAW ŚMIETANA (1951-2013) WAS ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT MUSICIANS of the Polish jazz scene of the last few decades, and at the same time an artist who was extremely open to the public.

⸜ Original release Sounds & Colours on LP from 1987

As we read in the review on the "Gitarzysta" web magazine, he was an erudite of this instrument:

At one time, Jarosław Śmietana was considered to be one of the best jazz guitars in Europe, and his numerous collaborations with various musicians, including some jazz world-wide known stars, could serve as a lecture on the jazz tradition. ⸜ GRZEGORZ BRYK, Jarosław Śmietana - Sounds & Colours, „Gitarzysta” 12.10.2020, see HERE

The Sounds and Colours was recorded in 1987 and is a summary of the experience of the Extra Ball - a band that was a showcase of the young generation of jazzmen of the 1970s. As we read, in the stylistic ideas the Sounds and Colours goes much further, drawing on the then fashionable trends generally referred to as "easy listening jazz" or - as we would say today - "smooth jazz". It is most often referred to in the context of the bands such as Weather Report or Yellowjacket, because it represents the popular style of jazz with numerous influences of jazz rock, fusion and swing.

It is worth noting that in 1990 the guitarist recorded an album under the similar title. It was created at the STU Theater in Krakow. However, it includes a completely different sound, and is a different recording.


1. wydanie: 1987 | Re-issue: 18.09.2020

1987 | Polskie Nagrania SX 2537
2020 | Warner Music Poland 9 51785 2

1989 | Polskie Nagrania PNCD 038, „Polish Jazz” vol. 15
2005 | Polskie Radio PRCD 533, vol. 2
2020 | Warner Music Poland 9 51609 6

THE MATERIAL FOR THIS ALBUM WAS RECORDED at Polskie Nagrania Studio in March and April 1987. Mr ANDRZEJ LUPA and M. WOJTUNALIS were responsible for the sound of the original, and Kamil Karolak for the remaster.

⸜ Re-issue Sounds & Colours on LP from 2020

Mr. Lupa is a music recording director, an academic teacher - associate professor. It is mainly associated with recordings of classical music. He is a graduate of the Department of Sound Engineering at the State Higher School of Music in Warsaw. In the years 1980-1990 he was active in P.P. Polskie Nagrania as a sound engineer. In the period of 2000-2005 he was the head of the Department of Sound Engineering at the F. Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw. Currently he works at the Fryderyk Chopin University of Music in Warsaw and at the F. Nowowiejski University in Bydgoszcz.

Similarly to the Young Power, the album by Jarosław Śmietana was not re-issued as often as other PJ titles. It is only the first re-issue on a vinyl record and the second on a CD.

LONG PLAY We've talked about the new vinyl versions before, now let's just say a few words about the differences between the original and the re-release of Sounds and Colours. The cover of the original issue was made of very poor quality paper, so it is very thin and it is difficult to find a copy without folds and scratches. Its tone is much darker - where the reissue is white and the original is greyish. It is difficult to say whether this is the result of imperfect printing in 1987 or a conscious choice of Karewicz, responsible for the photo and cover.

⸜ Color LP Sounds & Colours from 2020

Other changes seem to be more important. In the new version, the logotype of Polskie Nagrania, the "note", has been replaced with a modern, styled to look older-type one, on the first side, the words "vol. 73” were added which were not present in the original. The characteristic typography from the artist's name has also been changed - it looks similar, but not the same. Just compare how the letter "M" folds.

COMPACT DISC In the digital version, the material from Sounds & Colours was released twice. The first attempt, however, was an album from the POLSKIE NAGRANIA series, which was also called "Polish Jazz". It included 15 titles, marked with the names of the bands or the names of their leaders - the album by Jarosław Śmietana was the last one (1989). It includes songs from as many as five (!) albums by this artist. The coarse, gray cover was prepared by Włodzimierz Knap, and the disc was pressed in England by the Disctronics company. Andrzej Karpiński and Tomasz Kutyło were responsible for the sound.

The version from 2005, released by POLSKIE RADIO, is much more interesting. As Bartek Chaciński once wrote in Polityka, this edition was on the verge of legality, although still on the "the right" side of the fence. Only twelve titles were released in the series, also available in a nice box. The albums themselves were also carefully prepared. The new master was then prepared by Ms KATARZYNA GLEINERT.

⸜ Re-issues of the Sounds & Colours on CD (from the left): from 1989, 2005 and 2020

As she told me in an interview I once prepared for "Audio" magazine, she had at her disposal the original master tapes that she transferred to the digital domain in 24-bit resolution, with a sampling frequency of 44.1 kHz. Only then did she perform a noise reduction in CEDAR noise reducers and corrected losses in the tape. At that time, she drew my attention to the poor condition of some tapes. These activities were endorsed by Polskie Nagrania Mastering Studio.

And finally there is the latest version released by WARNER MUSIC POLAND. As I always say with these reissues, they are beautifully and professionally prepared. Here, too, remastering was done by Kamil Karolak. The text for the booklet was prepared by Tomasz Szachowski.


LONG PLAY The element that distinguishes all the contemporary reissues of the "Polish Jazz" albums is the much lower noise of stylus travel and significantly lower pops&cracks level. It is similar in the case of Jarek Śmietana's album. This time, however, it is not as big a difference as in the previous one. Is it because I managed to buy the originals in very good condition (VG +/- NM), or because the reprints are pressed in a different place than before - I don't know.

In terms of sound, they are two different worlds, for better and for worse. The original is much, much darker, and its high tones are suggested rather than having proper decay. The remaster shows them in a much stronger, clearer way. In the new version, they really do sound well, and they really are part of the drums performance. The whole sound is stronger, more offensive and brighter, also elements such as sighs (as they should probably be described) in the title Sounds & Colours that opens the album, but also vocals are clearer and more unambiguous - in the original they are slightly lost, precisely because the treble is closed in.

⸜ „Banana colored” label of the original release of the Sounds & Colours on LP from 1987

The new version is also more contoured, i.e. the instruments have a stronger "entrance", clearer attack. As I said - the remaster sounds clearer. But it also has the other side. The new version is dynamically flatter - which is paradoxical, because it should be the other way around. It also does not have such a depth as the original, there Antoni Dębski's bass goes lower and is better filled. On a colored vinyl, everything has the same emotional temperature, a bit cool and distant.

Technically the remastered version is a step forward because it opens the sound, unnaturally muffled in the original. It also gives clearer definitions of the individual instruments. Artistically, it is, in my opinion, a step aside. All events in the new version are equally important and all are on the same emotional level. The bass is less saturated and the layers more uniform, which gives the impression of a "wall of sound", like with Phil Spector, and this is probably not what this album is about. Therefore, I clearly choose the original version.

Sound quality: 6/10

COMPACT DISC |1991| In the first digital re-edition, they tried to open up the treble, ruthlessly cut in the vinyl original. But it seems as if it was done in a simple way with the tone dial. In this way, it was not so much the voicing of the instruments that was emphasized, and the opening of the upper midrange. This does not give very good results because the presentation is more shrill. The vinyl original may sound flawed, but it is very pleasant to listen to - also because it has a depth of color and soundstage that was missing from the digital re-edition.

|2005| The re-edition with the remaster of Ms Karolina Gleinert is even more open than the digital version from 1991. The vinyl original, which sounds by itself, as if it was played on a tube radio from the 1930s (I'm talking about treble), in comparison to the re-edition of Polish Radio, sounds as if it was broken. The digital version of the 2005 album is very open, but not as shrill as the 1991 version.

⸜ Releases of the Sounds & Colours on CD: from 1989 (in the front), 2005 (in the back) and from 2020 (on the left)

Its problem is the significant compression that was used - the whole thing is louder than the vinyl original, but also than the first digital re-edition, by about 5-6 dB. And that's a lot. As a result, the sound is less dynamic and has a rather flat perspective. In fact, this set of features makes the re-edition of Polish Radio from 2005 very similar to the vinyl, colorful re-edition of Polskie Nagrania, which we wrote about above. But in this case the bass attack is also suppressed, as if the compression extinguished it.

|2020| The latest digital version of Jarosław Śmietana's album has a volume level similar to the vinyl original, which suggests the use of compression of a similar depth. This version is significantly smoother than the 2005 version, it is also clearly more calmed down in the treble. It cannot be denied that this is the best balance between the whole sound and the treble. The foreground is further away than on the vinyl original, but this is because the vinyl focuses mainly on the midrange.

What I missed in this new digital re-edition was bass extension, which is a bit too - for my taste - dry, as well as its vividness. Nevertheless, we are talking about the best digital edition of this album and much better one than both available vinyl versions. However, the original LP has an advantage over it in the form of tonal depth and saturation. This version is cooler and less "colorful".

Sound quality: 7/10


Re-edition of JAROSŁAW ŚMIETANA’s Sounds & Colours A.D. 2020, in both digital and analogue versions, allows you to see it, for the first time, from the right perspective. The vinyl original has been "slaughtered" by the extinction of colors and dynamics. Both earlier digital re-editions, from 1991 and 2005, tried to do the same, opening up the treble. Both of them went a step too far, forgetting that such a sound still had to be saturated, dense, so that the attack of the sound did not kill the colors. It's not bad, but only the new remaster from 2020 shows that it can be done better.

However, this is nothing special in the recordings - perhaps it is just that the starting material, the "master" tape, is not very good either. Out of the two new versions, vinyl and analog, I definitely prefer the digital one. The Analog is OK, but it is so different from the original 1997 release that it is hard to talk about a reissue, but easier about a new version.



The discs were compared in the "High Fidelity" reference system. The vinyls were played on the TRANSROTOR ALTO TMD turntable with the SME M2 tonearm and the SHELTER HARMONY cartridge ("Special tuned by Yasuo Ozawa of Shelter"). The CDs were played using the SACD AYON AUDIO CD-35 HF EDITION player.


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⸜ MUSIC | REVIEW: „Polish Jazz” REMASTER 2016 • vol. 0 | vol. 5 | vol. 13 | vol. 39 | vol. 45 | vol. 65, COMPACT DISC
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