When he turns on his cult-quality veteran, battered Minimoog synthesiser, there is no one to match him. He is the undisputed virtuoso player of this instrument – and this is only the beginning of list of the many skills of Józef Skrzek. Beneath the characteristic storm hair style is a man, who for over forty years, has been an active and creative artist. He keeps moving forwards, searching for new forms of expression, surprising his listeners and himself.
He is not a man of one style – he sounded different as the expressive bass player in the Breakout group, different as the versatile multi-instrumentalist of the legendary SBB, different as the musician making use of the synthesiser sounds under the dome of the Silesian Planetarium, and still different during soul-stirring organ concerts. He is an ingenious improviser, who successfully joined fascinating, instrumental dialogues with such great artists as Tomasz Stańko, Michał Banasik and Thijs van Leer. Since the mid 90s he has been successful at the production of large multi-media events setting them in such extraordinary places as e.g. a silver mine, lighthouse or the slope of Stecówka mountain. He also composes for the theatre and film, makes guest appearances in various projects and continually gives concerts. And, on top of that, he receives numerous awards for his artistic work, with Złoty Fryderyk (Golden Frederic) among the most precious. How he finds time for all that?
Józef Skrzek (born in 1948) started his musical adventure in the late 60s, and as early as in 1970 he was included in the lineup of the legendary Breakout formation. In 1971 he set up the Silesian Blues Band trio, which – after two years of intensive work with Czesław Niemen as Grupa Niemen – since 1974 goes triumphant globally, on the stage, as the SBB – one of the most important Polish rock bands of all time. Józef Skrzek, Apostolis Anthimos and Jerzy Piotrowski shared the stage with such stars as Bob Marley, Elton John, Soft Machine, Marillion, Deep Purple and Colosseum II. They recorded a few dozen records, gave a few hundred concerts – and still, living up to the motto, they Search-Break up-Build.
Since the end of the 70s, irrespective of the SBB, he carries on with his solo career. Apart from electronic and organ music (often intertwined into one whole), Józef Skrzek will not forget about the sources, regularly giving piano recitals. He willingly works with other artists, whether from the world of jazz (Tomasz Stańko, Tomasz Szukalski), blues (Jan “Kyks” Skrzek, Tadeusz Nalepa), electronic music (Manuel Gottsching, Daniel Bloom) or of folk music –highlanders from the Beskidy Mountains in the first place. He also composes illustrative music – his compositions embellished the soundtracks of films, e.g. by Piotr Szulkin and Lech Majewski, countless theatre plays (e.g. famous „Otello” by Teatr TVP of 1981) and … newsreels from the 70s and 80s of the previous century.
He does not limit his plans only to a few projects prepared earlier – his plans for the coming months have always seemed a red-hot melting pot with original, unrevealed concepts and solutions stirring, unseen between organ-synthesiser dialogues with Henryk Botor and the ever more frequent performances with his singing daughter, Ela Skrzek.
Simply – you have to give it a listen. And then again, and again ….