Wednesday, September 22, 2004

The "True" Sound of Polish Polkas ?!?!?!?!??!

Last weekend on Greg Chwojdak's Buffalo radio show, I understand that it was stated (not by Greg btw!!!) that the "TRUE" Polish Polka sound or instrumentation was "a horn and a reed" versus the 2 trumpet approach so prevalent within so many polka bands both past and present (e.g. EBV, TBC, PCM, Chicago Push, Dynatones, New Brass, Marion Lush,The Sounds etc.)

And while it should be noted that some of the aforementioned bands in the past did in fact have a fulltime reedman, in most cases, I believe they still had 2 trumpets. Of course today, many of these bands have one of the hornmen occasionally doubling on stick or sax which inevitably provides additional facets of musicality and creativity within such bands.

With due humility though ... what's confusing me is ... since when has a hard right or wrong been established in this regard?! Frankly, I'd truly be interested in the qualification of such statement.

I mean ... would any knowledgable Polish Polka musician or fan qualitatively say that Blaz & the Versatones were any less a "true"polka band than Happy Louie, TBC any less "true" than Polka Family, Dynatones any less "true" than Gorale, New Brass any less "true" than The Trel Tones?

And don't get me wrong ... some of my favourite bands and recordings had such instrumentation (Lil' Wally, original G-Notes, Polka Family etc.) ... however personally ... the actual instrumentation was never a primary criteria for my enjoyment ... versus the actual performance and musicality of such. Leading me to wonder ... am I now alone in left field with this perspective!?

While generally in polka music ... there has always been "different strokes for different folks" (Eastern, Chicago, Cleveland, German etc.) ... I always appreciated and respected the integrity of thePolish/Chicago style for having the foundation to support the performance spectrum of the Ampolaires to Freeze Dried!

Am I to understand this is now changing?! Inquiring minds want to know.

Best Regards,

Michael Melymuka