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Body English

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Album Review

The album cover, depicting Michal Urbaniak and violin flying through the air over the silhouetted curves of a naked woman, should have been the tipoff that this was going to be a more commercial outing than his previous releases. Indeed, there is a slicker sheen to this recording than to its predecessor, Fusion III. Urbaniak is playing his violin through a synthesizer more here, and Moog synthesizers are employed throughout. The feeling is almost disco-ish in places, though it would be pretty hard to do the "hustle" to these rhythms. The compositional structures continue to be similar to that of Return to Forever, but the synthesizers are a little too cheesy. True, there is still a lot of playfulness in the music on this disc, and Ursula Dudziak's wordless vocals sound mighty fine, but overall, this does not measure up to Fusion III.


Born: January 22, 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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Body English, Michal Urbaniak
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