Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Michal Urbaniak - Ecstasy

Ecstasy was released in 1978 on the Florida based label Marlin Records marks a strong departure by Urbaniak from the fusion genre and an incursion into R&B funk mixed with disco elements. The first striking factor of this departure is the absence of Urszula Dudziak’s daring vocal effects; the second is the immersion into songs with lyrics sang by R&B type singers. Although Urbaniak ventured this way in his “Funk Factory” release, this time the vocal compositions are much better. The album maintains its R&B funk flavor from the beginning until track #6 "A Day In The Park", which features Dudziak as the main vocalist in a sort of Flora Purim style song, then track #7 “French Kiss” is an instrumental with the alto sax as the main performer, which resembles Gato Barbieri and track #8 "Creation" (sampled below) is a slow instrumental, which could classify as the Urbaniak we were used to listen to. In spite the fact that this is not the fusion Urbaniak we expected, this is a very enjoyable album. Henry Stone Music has re-released this album, which is greatly appreciated but you should be cautioned that the packaging and the way this LP has been re-mastered is awful. The jewel case insert, the tray liner and the CD label are just printed on a home or office printer using Neato type CD labels and stickers. The CD is a CDR most likely burned on a computer with probably the wrong sample rate. This is really unacceptable for a company that wants to be in the record industry especially when even independent musicians can have their copies made at a reputable CD manufacturing facility such as Disc Makers, Ameridisc or any other. Even more surprising is the fact that the physical CD is not even available on Amazon or places like CD Baby but just on the Henry Stone Music webpage. Nonetheless, once you cross over such hurdles it is a pleasure to listen to this album once again. Personnel are: Michal Urbaniak on violin, lyricon, tenor sax, strings and synthesizer, the late Kenny Kirkland on keyboards and synthesizers, Pee Wee Ford and Anthony Jackson on bass, Bernard Pretty Purdie and Gary Mure on drums, Ralph MacDonald, Crusher Bennett and Arthur Jenkins on percussion, Othello on Steel drum, Zbigniew Namyslowski on alto sax, James Crab Robinson on guitar and Keith Keyboy Rose and Rickie Byars-Boger on background vocals. The main vocalists are Urszula Dudziak, Kenyatta (James Crab Robinson, Keith Keyboy Rose and Rickie Byars-Boger) and Calvin Brown. The musical arrangements are done by James Crab Robinson, Calvin Brown and Michal Urbaniak.

Track Listing:
1. Body Rub
2. Free
3. Ecstasy
4. Just A Funky Feeling
5. Want's Ta Make You Feel Good
6. A Day In The Park
7. French Kiss
8. Creation (sampled here)
Buy it at Henry Stone Music or

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