Anawa – 1973

Today, I’m just digging a bit deeper in Polish music. After Marek Grechuta and Anawa went their separate ways, Anawa decided to collobrate with infamous Polish jazz rock vocalist Andrzej Zauche, a gruff voiced chameleon of vast musical styles, to fashion some kind of concept album. This concept album based on the poetic philosophical writings of Ryszard Krynicki and some tracts from the Epic of Gilgamesh, you know the ultra-heady stuff 70s bands loved to tackle, yielded an even more intriguing blend of music. The cut I chose to highlight today, “Abyś Czuł” from 1973’s self-titled Anawa album, presents this new sound. Its a sound filled with electric violins, violas and cellos, acoustic-electric guitars, heavy drums and bass, plus the room filling voice of Andrzej.

Anawa album cover.

“Abyś Czuł” (You Feel) has such a unique blend of styles. You hear neo-folk underpinings in the electrified 12-string guitar, then you hear the jazz phrasing of Andrzej backed by psych-tinged harmonies, all the while Ana on cello, Zygmunt on violin and Tadeusz on viola/trumpet play melodies that have little to no reference point in other types of music (you could say they’re improvising classical motifs). Its positively rockin’ music without anything you would normally consider necessary to “rock” with. Then as you are jamming to electric string section, they take you on a pseudo-ambient jazz bridge with Anna on wordless vocals (like a Polish Gong or Amon Duul II) that rockets you back to that neo-folk funk of the beginning.

Whatever Jan Edges Pawluśkiewicz (lead pianist and composer of all this stuff) was trying to push forward, really demands more inspection, almost all of their history is in Polish which is a damn shame, but at least for now you a great appetizing taste of the kind of music Poland was able to produce, nearly removed from the rest of pop music then. Shit got heavier, more than Marek could have handled, but Anawa found another way to foment a different type of rebellion that few, if hardly any, bands have yet to follow.

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Listen to Abyś Czuł at Grooveshark.

Bonus track, the lilting ballad “Tańcząc w Powietrzu” (Dancing in the Air)…

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Listen to Tańcząc w Powietrzu at Grooveshark.