Once again it is time for JAZZANOVA and STEPHAN STEIGLEDER to give jazz fans around the world a tour through the dusty rooms of a previously unexplored record archive. With their Formation 60 compilation the team trawled the vaults of east german Amiga label, for Go Right they ventured into the depths of the Polish national Muza archive and for the critically acclaimed collections Forum West (SK019CD
/LP) and Focus Jazz (SK108CD
/LP) they entered the hallowed halls of the HANS WEWERKA archive. If you thought Focus Jazz was already strongly orientated towards east europe, this time the team have ventured further than ever in that direction and delved into the music of a country previously better known for its folklore than its modern jazz: Romania.
Bearing in mind the great number of east european jazz compilations it’s a wonder that no retrospective of the Romanian Electrecord label has been released so far. After all a great many first class jazz albums have been release on the label under the title Seria Jazz since the early 60’s. And it is from this series that the tracks for this compilation have been selected.
That Romanian musicians have reached so few ears in other countries was more than anything down to the strict politics and rules set down by Ceaucescu's government, which restricted musicians especially in their freedom to travel. So the country's jazz scene remained pretty much unknown abroad and especially in the west.
This compilation introduces outstanding artists from the jazz scene of the day; a group of musicians who would meet time and again for recording sessions but always in different formations, and from whom only a few are still active today. Most notably there's the bassist JOHNNY RADUCANU, the incredible singer AURA URZICEANU, or the pianist of Italian origin GUIDO MANUSARDI, who produced loads for the Electrecord label.
As well as presenting first class jazz, the Romanian Jazz“ compilation shows that neither were these Romanian productions a rejection of their musical tradition, nor were they simple imitations of west european or American jazz-greats. Quite the opposite, the tension between western inspiration and their own Balkan tradition enabled the players to come up with their own very unique style of jazz. This music is the proof that Romanian jazz is every bit as good as its international counterpart and has absolutely earned the right to finally be heard by an international audience. Romanian Jazz“ is an attempt to finally give this music the respect that it has long since deserved.