Monday, April 11, 2011


This guy is German. (At least I think he is German)

He's a piano player.

He does not have a Wikipedia entry.

If I could stretch to more than a dozen words in German there would be some clues as to the man's history and background on the rear of the sleeve. Sadly the comprehensive notes, probably outlining the making of the record and the chief protagonist's history are a series of 'k's, 'z's and umlauts.

Given this I shall take my customary tact and make something up...

Jan Fryderyk discovered the world of Jazz after being admitted to Ansbach Military Hospital as a child. He had complained of a chronic stomach pain and on examination doctors removed approximately 4oz of human hair from his stomach and intestinal tract.

Jan Fryderyk had a hair eating problem, unlike most people with this affliction the hair was not in fact his. At weekend Jan would roam from barber shop to barber shop with an eye to scoring a snack and had been doing so since an incident involving a wig on his seventh birthday.

It was whilst he was recovering from the operation that Jan heard some G.Is stationed there playing John Coltrane's 'Blue Trane' and he was hooked.

To this day nobody knows how or why the hair eating problem started. What they do know is that despite a relapse in the early 80s his passion for the jazz piano has all but cured him.

Sound wise, this is obviously piano led, but don't let that put you off. It's not a painful Cecil Taylor excursion into the land of the solo plinkity-plonk. The other players here do a fantastic job of filling in, covering for and adding to Fryderyk's key-happy ways.

I need to single out Alan Skidmore formerly of Kieth Tippet's 'Centipede' here for a special mention. He's an exceptional saxophone player and he has a tidy beard. He does soft, distant and gentle AND 'I'm having a shit-fit' both surprisingly well. I say surprisingly as he's a Brit and despite evidence to the contrary I still firmly believe that 'Jazz' is the realm of the dead (with a few exceptions) American.

Quite who to thank for rest of it I do not know as Peter Giger(Pictured above), Doug Hammond and a guy called Trilok Gurtu all contribute percussion of some type or other. The sheer amount of skin beating gives you some idea of how good this could and does get.

It isn't indispensable by any means but when the repetitive percussion gels with the piano 'Faun' comes alive in a wholly entertaining and mostly enjoyable way.

1 comment:

  1. He's Polish!
    Peter Giger is Swiss
    Trilok Gurtu is Indian