String Beat

BB 011LP BB 011LP

LP-only release. One of the most legendary and eagerly sought-after treasures of Polish jazz funk is about to see the light of day again. First issued in 1975, Henryk Debich's String Beat is now released on vinyl by Bureau B, thanks to a friendly tip-off by Roskow Kretschmann of Jazzanova, an expert on jazz and groove obscurities. The vinyl was mastered from the original tapes belonging to the Polish Muza label. It is no great secret amongst aficionados that an awful lot of excellent jazz music has come out of Poland -- and still does. A particularly fruitful period for the Polish scene was the mid-'70s and Debich's String Beat captures the pinnacle of that era. Funk and jazz connoisseurs have long since fallen in love with it, so to call it a hidden gem does not quite do it justice. The established director and arranger Henryk Debich created this jazz funk monster in 1975 together with the Lodz Radio Orchestra, with no previous experience as a funkateer. Even the author of the original liner notes, Andrzej Jaroszewski, found it hard to contain his boundless amazement: "We have never before heard such an orchestra playing in such a style ... If you bought this record of Henryk Debich's orchestra through choice, you are a connoisseur, if by chance, you are a lucky fellow!" His enthusiasm is easy to fathom: razor sharp horns, a surgically precise rhythm section and crystal clear arrangements -- back then, as now, one would have to search far and wide to find a similar sound. Only the dubious version of "Obladi - Oblada" interrupts the flow a little. Along with The Beatles track, there are two other "western" inclusions on the album. Henryk Debich pays tribute to Isaac Hayes ("Melodia Z Filmu Shaft") as well as Herbie Hancock ("Kameleon"). Everything else was composed especially for String Beat by young, gifted Lodz composers.