A composer, vibraphonist, pianist, arranger and one of the most original figures of the Polish jazz scene from the 60’s.
Born in 1935 in Poznań, he graduated from the piano class at a 2nd grade music school to continue his musical education at Hochschule fur Musik in Berlin and at private classes with Bogusław Schaeffer or Wolfram Heicking.
In 1954 Milian met Krzysztof Komeda and two years later he gave up the piano to join his sextet as a vibraphonist. The two musicians had a great success at the International Jazz Festival in Sopot in 1956.
When the band fell apart, Milian stayed in Poznań, where initially he performed with radio bands. As a composer and arranger he took part in numerous recordings and concerts, and in 1965 he started his collaboration with the radio orchestra of the Belgian BRT radio. The experience inspired him to set up the Orkiestra Rozrywkowa (Light Orchestra) of the Polish Radio and TV in Katowice along with choreographer Konrad Drzewiecki.
Remaining aside from the main jazz scene, Milian would had almost been forgotten, if it were not for the discovery of his recordings from the late 60’s and late 70’s by the young generation of musicians bound with modern dance music. The original editions of his older albums became more and more expensive and samples from his pieces appeared on many contemporary electronic music.
Milan’s latest albums: Ashkhabad Girl and Milianalia were recorded in the renowned studio of Obuh Records and released also on vinyl, bringing the artist excellent reviews and the renaissance of his work.
Jerzy Milian passed away on 7th March 2018.
Autor: Maciej Sienkiewicz, grudzień 2010, updated March 2018
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