Jarek Adamov is a Polish musician and former member of the Polish band Sie Gra. He recorded a debut cd in 2000 which made him win the Polish record of the year award. Now he just released his second solo cd "Songs of the Polish medieval bards". The songs presented on this cd are old ballads which have been performed throughout Poland by wandering bards. Jarek collected a few ballads and tunes which he recorded with Hurdy-gurdy, clarinet, whistles and percussion. Jarek keeps his music very sober which is the strength of this cd. It starts with a tune with only the drone of a hurdy gurdy and a slow tune played on clarinet. Already in this first track he creates a dark, mystic atmosphere which continues for the rest of the cd. Also his ballads are very intense, Podolanka, for example, is almost hypnotising. Jarek sings this ballad like a prayer with the hurdy-gurdy playing a different melody. I cant help it, it forces to listen over and over again. This were only the first two songs but it keeps on being fantastic music until the last tone. I love the way he uses the hurdy-gurdy in a very simple but 100% effective way. Within nine songs he shows several sides of Polish ancient music which were until now completely unknown to me. I can only recommend this album as it, in my opinion, is one of the best cd's of 2003 I've heard so far.
A fascinating album, although the title isn't quite truth in advertising. The nine pieces here aren't all songs, and some instrumentals aren't medieval--in fact, only the texts here appear to be old but don't let niggling details detract from the enjoyment. Adamow is a musician of great depth, adept on clarinet, hurdy-gurdy, drum, soprano and bass sopika, and whistle. It's a valiant attempt at recreating a time and, even more, a mood of a time that's rarely been explored. Typically for Central Europe, there are all manner of influences, including the Jewish sounds that would eventually become klezmer, and the fairly retained wildness of the music of the Rom people, which mingled freely with Polish folk music. Some pieces do work better than others, with the songs generally coming across with more intensity than the instrumentals. That it's a labor of love is quite apparent--this isn't going to gain Adamow any widespread fame. But he's endlessly questing and inventive, and you have to admire that.
Why would an American folklorist with a recording label with a speciality in issuing Jewish music choose to issue this Polish recording ? The Jews shared traditions with the people they lived with and therefore the traditions of the people they lived with are part of the larger picture. That the traditions are still shared is evident in Jarek's taking master classes with representives of the Jewish tradition from America. He like I want to hacve the large picture. His "Klezmer Cocktail" is an attempt to "reconstruct the musical atmosphere" of shared traditions between Poles, Jews and Gypsies. I think by my issuing of non - Jewish Polish and Ukrainian music I also want to "reconstruct the musical atmosphere".
Interesting Polish material – ballads and tunes with Polish, Klezmer and Romany sources - modestly recorded in Poland by able and dedicated young singer/multi-instrumentalist on hurdy-gurdy, clarinet, sopilka, whistles and drum, but bunged out by US label in undervaluing tatty packaging and without even checkingthe typos and grammar in its single-fold booklet text.
" Wyjątkowa łatwość łączenia elementów różnych epok, stylów, gatunków. Archaiczny instrument brzmi bardzo stylowo i awangardowo. Bez ludowej cepelii i taryfy ulgowej, że to folklor, więc rzecz specjalnej troski. " Paweł Sztompke " Piękna płyta. Muzyka wprost odwołująca się do tradycji, a zarazem niezwykle osobista, intymna wręcz. Pewne wokalne niedoskonałości jeszcze bardziej uwiarygadniają przekaz proponowany przez Jarka Adamowa. Płyta o świetnej dramaturgii i znakomicie "skomponowana" jako całość. Poruszająca w swej kruchości, porywająca zarówno w sensie repertuarowym jak i wykonawczym.
" Bardzo indywidualna i głęboko przeżyta, czasem wręcz przejmująca wizja artystyczna "
" Za stu procentową korzenność, która brzmi jak najlepsza współczesna muzyka transowa "