Janusz Muniak

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Janusz Muniak

Janusz Józef Muniak (3 June 1941 – 31 January 2016[1]) was a Polish jazz musician, saxophonist, flutist, arranger, and composer. He was one of the pioneers of free jazz in Europe, although later in life tended towards the mainstream.

He debuted in Lublin in 1960. During the 60s and 90s, he cooperated with, among others, Ronnie Burrage, George Cables, James Cammack, Don Cherry, Ted Curson, Art Farmer, Eddie Gladden, Dexter Gordon, Eddie Henderson, Freddie Hubbard, Hank Jones, Rusty Jones, Nigel Kennedy, Branislav Lala Kovačev, Joe Lovano, Wynton Marsalis, Hank Mobley, Takeo Moriyama, Joe Newman, Sal Nistico, Jasper van 't Hof, Aladár Pege, Rufus Reid, Akira Sakata, Archie Shepp, Charlie Ventura, Yōsuke Yamashita and Polish musicians like Tomasz Stańko, Zbigniew Namysłowski, Zbigniew Seifert, Adam Makowicz, Wojciech Karolak, Krzysztof Komeda, Andrzej Kurylewicz, Andrzej Trzaskowski, Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski, Jarek Śmietana, Jan Jarczyk, Włodek Pawlik, Leszek Możdżer and Michał Urbaniak. He was one of the first jazzmen who cooperated with rock musicians like Dżamble and Czesław Niemen.

Since 1976 he has been a leader of several ensembles[2], and since 1991 he has been running the Jazz Club "U Muniaka" at Florianska 3 in Krakow, which, under his artistic management, became an important incubator of new talents.

In the poll of Jazz Top 2011 of the monthly Jazz Forum Janusz Muniak was voted the best saxophonist in Poland.[3]

He is buried at Rakowicki Cemetery in Krakow.

Orders and decorations[edit]

• 1962 Złoty Helikon awarded by Krakow Jazz Club

• 2015: Złoty Fryderyk for outstanding artistic achievement awarded by Phonographic Academy

• 2016: Knight's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta awarded posthumously for outstanding achievements in promoting jazz music in Poland.[4]

Discography[edit]

Leading performance:

• 1978 Question Mark – Janusz Muniak Quintet

• 1983 Placebo – Janusz Muniak

• 1986 Janusz Muniak Quartet – Janusz Muniak Quartet

• 1994 You Know These Songs? – Janusz Muniak

• 1995 Not So Fast – Janusz Muniak

• 1997 One And Four – Janusz Muniak

• 1998 Spotkanie – Janusz Muniak

• 2000 Just Friends – Janusz Muniak

• 2002 Annie – Janusz Muniak Quartet

• 2015 Contemplation – Janusz Muniak

Guest performance:

• 1965 Andrzej Trzaskowski Quintet, Andrzej Trzaskowski Quintet, Polskie Nagrania „Muza” XL 0258 (Polish Jazz vol. 4)

• 1966 / 2004 Seant – The Andrzej Trzaskowski Sextet, PN Muza XL 0378 (Polish Jazz vol. 11)

• 1969 Jazz Studio Orchestra of Polish Radio, PN Muza XL 0569 (Polish Jazz vol. 19)

• 1970 Krzysztof Sadowski and His Hammond Organ – Krzysztof Sadowski, PN Muza XL 0606 (Polish Jazz vol. 21)

• 1970 / 1999 / 2004 Music for K – Tomasz Stańko, PN Muza XL 0607 (Polish Jazz vol. 22)

• 1972 Jazzmessage from Poland – Tomasz Stańko Quintet

• 1973 Kto tak pięknie gra – SPPT Chałturnik

• 1973 Purple Sun – Tomasz Stańko Quintet

• 1975 SPPT Chałturnik i Andrzej Rosiewicz – SPPT Chałturnik i Andrzej Rosiewicz

• 1982 Grand Standard Orchestra – Grand Standard Orchestra p/d Jana „Ptaszyna” Wróblewskiego

• 1998 Krzysztof Komeda Vol. 4 - Moja Ballada – Krzysztof Komeda

Joint recordings

• 1967/2000 Torpedo / Rien Ne Va Plus – Novi Singers

• 1971 / 1987 / 1993 Wołanie o słońce nad światem – Dżamble

• 1971 Piotr – Piotr Figiel

• 1983 Stańko (W Pałacu Prymasowskim) – Tomasz Stańko

• 1995 A Time For Love – Andrzej Dąbrowski

• 2003 Follow the Soul – Piotr Lemańczyk

Collections

• 1964 Jazz Jamboree 1964, vol. 2 [Muza XL0240]

• 1973 Koncert podwójny na pięciu solistów i orkiestrę – Polish Radio Jazz Band

• 1974 All Stars After Hours - Night Jam Session In Warsaw 1973 – Various

• 1974 / 1976 Muzyka Krzysztofa Komedy – Krzysztof Komeda

• 1999 Go Right: A Selection (Jazz From Poland 1963-75) – Various

• 1999 Novi Singers (Vocal Jazz From Poland 1965-75) – Various

• 2000 The Best of Cracow Jazz – Various

• 2002 Antologia jazzu – Various

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Nie żyje Janusz Muniak - saksofonista i jedna z najbarwniejszych postaci polskiego jazzu".
  2. ^ Wacław., Panek, (2000). Encyklopedia muzyki rozrywkowej. Świat Książki. ISBN 8372271836. OCLC 45724667.
  3. ^ "Janusz Muniak". Jazz Forum. 2016, 3: 36–39.
  4. ^ "Janusz Muniak pośmiertnie odznaczony".