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 Title:               Annie

 By:                  Janusz Muniak

 Released in:   2003

 Format:          CD

 Catalog No:    MW 746-2

 Price :             0 EUR



1. Annie [06:41]

2. Before Rain [08:11]

3. My Shining Hour [08:14]

4. Late-night-out-ism [10:48]

5. For Minors Only [08:28]

6. Blues For H.G [08:08]

7. Piece For Wietek [04:10]



Janusz Muniak - tenor & soprano sax

Piotr Wyleżoł - piano

Adam Kowalewski - bass

Łukasz Żyta - drums




Some recordings just don’t inspire to set jazz world on fire and take you into an unexplored regions. Well, one might say, that they don’t contribute anything new to jazz history. So, why was it was recorded at all? For whom? Frankly speaking I ask myself this question each time I put newest Janusz Muniak’s CD “For Annie” on. And every time the answer is the same: this music is for me. If I listen to this music with pleasure, if it frequently visits my home, it means that there is something in it, something just for me. And I reckon that there might be quite many people like me. Janusz Muniak has already set the jazz world in fire several times and gone through the period of very modern and innovative playing. By now, just like another jazz innovator Archie Shepp, he has given up traveling into free jazz world and for some time he has been presenting straight-ahead jazz which doesn't attempt any innovations. But it isn't only innovations that jazz lives on. Otherwise the contemporary recordings of traditional jazz wouldn't make any sense at all. And since they still find listeners, so they do! There is something in this music that makes it to belong to the achievements of this fossilized world of mainstream, which are, if not perfect, at least outstanding ones. The compact contains seven pieces, over the half of which were composed by leader himself, all performed absolutely expertly. The piece I like the best is engaging ballad "Piece for Wietek" played only by Muniak and Piotr Wylezol (it's composer), which reminds me some of the best and the most beautiful achievements of sax-and-piano duets. But, there is no wonder. The manner of playing, manner of improvisation of Muniak, the finest tone of his sax speaks for itself and makes him belong of the very top of sax players playing this kind of music. The Yearning Trio, the rhythm section of this quartet, is one of the most interesting jazz trios in Poland . The ballad character of the most tunes of the records is what Janusz Muniak feels best in. Once more he proves that he is the master of ballad, excellently accompanied by Yearning Trio. So, if you do not expect anything freaky and over-experimental then this music will reveal to you its beauty and will carry you into the world of relaxation and tranquility. At least that’s what I experience each time I listen to it. 


(Pawel Baranowski, Diapazon)




Polish saxophonist Janusz Muniak was once a progressive saxophonist, but in recent years, decided to devote his energy to more trditional realms. That being said, "Annie: is a quartet session, featuring seven predictable, yet lovely straightahead jazz numbers. The group initially explores Muniak's "For Annie", a sweetly-romantic Latin-based composition with Muniak's round, restrained tone wrapping itself around the rhythm section's forward momentum. The bluesy "Before Rain" is likewise easygoing. However, Muniak does manage to demonstrate some tenacity. A similiar, Blues-influenced feel also appears on "For Minors Only", and, as one might expect, "Blues For H.G." a head shaking, foot tapping ride. As the majority of the session has that late night, low-key feel, nowhere does this vibe come through more then on "Late-night-out-ism)", or the album's closer, "Piece For Wietek", a cinematic piano-soprano duet. Overall, it is a predictable trek, but will prove quite appealing to those that can't get enough of tenor quartet dates. 


(Jay Collins, Cadence)

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