Komeda Project: Requiem (2009)
The opening, three-part suite "Night-time, Daytime Requiem"also covered on Stanko's Komeda tribute, Litania (ECM, 1997)reflects Komeda's compositions from the sixties, an era of relative hopefulness and openness in Communist-ruled Poland. He wrote it after the death of John Coltrane, as he was a huge fan of the late master. But this complex and slow composition does not attempt to follow Coltrane's musical innovations, even if the repeated theme of dense wall-of-sound does directly reference the late saxophone icon. This majestically performed, beautiful suite sounds like a gift of gratitude to Coltrane's legacy, with a non-religious, encompassing, uplifting sense of spirituality that still mourns the great loss of this unique and powerful musician. Winnicki's modal "Anubis" concludes this release, inspired by a similar love for the legendary Coltrane.
This ensemble has developed its own voice and its own pulse; a collaborative, patient and slow-burning exploration of Komeda's compositions. A warm and melancholic sound is found on "Ballad for Bernt" (from Knife in the Water (1962) and "Litania," which features the warm sounds of Johnson and Medyna. The post-bop, hard-swinging arrangement of "Astigmatic" is led by Medyna's serpentine sax solo, while "Prayer and Question" features Winnicki's most unfettered solo of the set. Winnicki's engaging arrangements breathe new and fresh into these beautiful melodies.
Track Listing: Night-time, Daytime Requiem (Part 1-3); Ballad for Bernt; Dirge for Europe; Astigmatic; Elutka; Prayer and Question; Litania; Anubis.
Personnel: Russ Johnson: trumpet, flugelhorn; Krzysztof Medyna: tenor and soprano saxophones; Andrzej Winnicki: piano; Scott Colley: bass; Nasheet Waits: drums.
Record Label: WM Records
Style: Modern Jazz