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Fusion III

Michal Urbaniak

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Album Review

With song structures similar to Mahavishnu Orchestra and electric-era Return to Forever, Michal Urbaniak's Fusion III appealed to the same fusion-buying clientele. What most distinguishes this music from that of its contemporaries was the unique vocalizing of Urbaniak's wife, Ursula Dudziak. She could sound at times like a Polish Flora Purim, at other times like a synthesized presence from another world. On this recording, Urbaniak's playing is fresh and engaging, and his compositions occasionally sound like Frank Zappa's instrumental work from this same era. John Abercrombie and Larry Coryell turn in blistering guitar passages, and bassist Anthony Jackson and drummer Steve Gadd provide a funkified rhythmic foundation.

Customer Reviews

Brilliant through-composed album

I often mention this band when I talk to friends about a singer I used to follow when I was living in New York in the '70s: Urszula Dudziak, and a record on which she sings and plays percussion and whose tracks are through-composed brilliantly with some terrific grooves in some very effective time signatures. Not everybody likes it but I am sure any listener would be interested in the way Urszula uses the different parts of her voice and the brilliant energy created by the band from a genuine fusion of Eastern European and North American music of the time. I know Marcus Miller and Miles Davis liked this band and the bass player Anthony Jackson. They had Mikael Urbaniak play on Tutu.


Born: 22 January 1943 in Warsaw, Poland

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

Once Poland's most promising import in the jazz-rock 1970s, Michal Urbaniak's chief value in retrospect was as a fellow traveler of Jean-Luc Ponty, a fluid advocate of the electric violin, the lower-pitched Violectra, and the Lyricon (the first popular, if now largely under-utilized wind synthesizer). Like many Eastern European jazzmen, he would incorporate elements of Polish folk music into his jazz pursuits, and his other heroes range from the inevitable Miles Davis to Polish classicist Witold...
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Fusion III, Michal Urbaniak
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