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CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Komeda Project: Requiem

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Krzysztof Komeda is a figure of immense significance in Polish jazz, in effect the musician who both gave it its original authentic voice and marked its place in the world. In the 15 years before his death in 1969, Komeda was active as bandleader and film composer, scoring films by Roman Polanski like Two Men and a Wardrobe and Rosemary's Baby. Clearly influenced by Miles Davis, Bill Evans and John Coltrane, he found a profound affinity between modal jazz and Polish folk elements, crafting a moody, often pensive music that is at the root of much later European music, including ...

INTERVIEWS

Komeda Project: Bringing New Life to a Legend

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Komeda Project is dedicated to the music of the great Polish composer Krzysztof Komeda. Komeda died young--days before his 38th birthday. During his relatively short life, he composed numerous film scores and jazz tunes and was responsible for the seminal album Astigmatic (Muza Records, 1965)--one of Jazzwise Magazine's “100 Jazz Albums that Shook the World." It is unsurprising, then, that a band would wish to pay tribute to such a musician, and tribute bands and tribute recordings are common enough in the jazz world. But Komeda Project is no mere tribute act. The quintet, led by pianist Andrzej Winnicki and ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Komeda Project: Requiem

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Komeda Project's Requiem is released 40 years after the untimely death of the great Polish composer and pianist Krzysztof Komeda, best known for his original soundtracks to Roman Polanski's films Knife in the Water and Rosemary's Baby, as well as his work with great Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko. The European-American Komeda ensemble--pianist/arranger Andrzej Winnicki, trumpeter Russ Johnson, saxophonist Krzysztof Medyna, and the new rhythm section of bassist Scott Colley and drummer Nasheet Waits--succeeds in updating Komada's compositions by reaching into their essence. It makes for a sophisticated and rich European aesthetic that references American jazz, but doesn't bind itself to ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Komeda Project: Requiem

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Despite the snowballing emergence of European jazz musicians on the world stage, relatively few European jazz composers have, in 2009, made it into the global repertory, which continues to be dominated by American voices. Perhaps it always will be, and perhaps local singularities--Italian or British or Scandinavian or whatever--are in any case better treasured, rather than absorbed into a single, universal body of work. But the fact remains that a cornucopia of great “foreign" compositions remains neglected in jazz's birth territory.

By any standards, Polish pianist, bandleader and composer Krzysztof Komeda (1931-1969) was a jazz stylist of epic ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Komeda Project: Requiem

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With the magnificent Requiem, pianist Andrzej Winnicki and saxophonist Krzysztof Medyna solidify and enhance their reputations as the prime promoters of the essential music of the Polish pianist and composer Krzysztof Komeda (1931-1969). Komeda is widely recognized as the founder of modern Polish, and in a wider sense, European modern jazz. That he worked in Poland under Communist oppression is important. At its heart, jazz refuses to be pigeonholed, and it both allows and demands that its practitioners be utterly and freely themselves. It is this freedom that makes jazz subversive and the reason that totalitarian governments have always attempted ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Komeda Project: Requiem

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There's an awareness which is located deep within human nature that we're subject to both positive feelings as well as destructive impulses: Love and death, Eros and Thanatos, exist side by side. All great art is a mirror of the human condition and nobody understood better than the Polish composer and pianist Krzysztof Komeda that life as well as music is composed of light and darkness.

The dual nature of Komeda's music is captured perfectly in one of his masterpieces, the three-part suite, “Night-time, Daytime Requiem" which was written as a response to the news of the death of saxophonist ...

LIVE REVIEWS

The Komeda Project at the Cornelia Street Cafe

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Komeda ProjectCornelia Street CaféNew York, New YorkNovember 1, 2007 Jazz, because it is created in the moment by the performers pouring out their souls, has a way of getting inside you. Hearing jazz live, actually being there, intensifies the experience tenfold. Live jazz at the Cornelia Street Café is particularly rewarding because there is very little physical separation between the musicians and the audience. The Komeda Project at Cornelia Street was electrifying, bringing the music of Krzysztof Komeda vividly to life. Led by saxophonist Krzysztof Medyna and pianist ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Komeda Project: Crazy Girl

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This album is a rather unusual one, dedicated to 1960s Polish film scorer Krzysztof Komeda, who wrote music for films of the young Roman Polanski and Andraej Wajda. Some of the music on Crazy Girl was used for Polanski's, Rosemary's Baby (1968). Polanski used Komeda's music in almost all of his own films dating back to 1957's Two Men and a Wardrobe, and for the next decade, and credits Komeda with having composed the only major European soundtrack hit of that era other than Ennio Moriconne's The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966).

Komeda's music for Polanski's ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Komeda Project: Crazy Girl

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In a too brief but productive life, Krzysztof Komeda (1931-1969) composed in excess of forty film scores. These film scores include such Polish cinematic gems as Roman Polanski's Knife in the Water and Andrzej Wajda's Innocent Sorcerers. Komeda's first score for the screen was Polanski's first film, Two Men and a Wardrobe (1958). In the same way that Sam Peckenpaw used the same actors for his films, so Polanski would do with Komeda in almost all of his films from the late 1950s the late 1960s, culminating in the riveting Rosemary's Baby. That soundtrack may only be comparable with Ennio ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Komeda Project: Crazy Girl

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The Komeda Project jazz quintet originated with Breakwater, the jazz group founded by pianist Andrzej Winnicki and saxophonist Krzysztof Medyna. Rounding out the group with Canadian bassist Michael Bates, drummer Dave Anthony and trumpeter/flugelhornist Russ Johnson, The Komeda Project pays homage to the great Krzysztof Komeda (1931-1969), one of the founders of modern Polish jazz. Komeda reached international audiences through scoring a number of movies for Roman Polanski and Andrzej Wajda.

Over half of Crazy Girl's selections are Komeda-penned, largely from his film scores. The rest are from Winnicki, written in the same stylistic vein as Komeda, making the project ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Komeda Project: Crazy Girl

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The legacy of the great Polish jazz composer/pianist Krzysztof Komeda runs especially deep, while straddling the worlds of film music and modern jazz. While his life was sadly cut short in 1969 at the age of 38, his compositional output included more than sixty film scores and the influential European classic Astigmatic (Power Bros, 1966), with trumpeter Tomasz Stanko. Despite Hollywood credentials that boast the hit soundtrack for Roman Polanski's Rosemary's Baby, the Komeda Project's Crazy Girl reveals that Komeda was a visionary jazzer in both mind and soul. Saxophonist Krzysztof Medyna and pianist Andrzej Winnicki established ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Komeda Project: Crazy Girl

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Crazy Girl by the Komeda Project, a quintet founded by pianist Andrzej Winnicki and saxophonist Krzysztof Medyna, is a very exciting project. It aims to bring the music of Krzysztof Komeda, its beauty, emotional intensity and logical yet dramatic structure, to a wider audience.

While the jazz ethos is universal, Komeda's music distills the essence of Poland and pours it into the jazz bottle. Widely acclaimed as one of the prime creators of modern Polish, if not European jazz, Komeda's relatively short career had an enormous impact that is still being felt. . (See the article Polish Jazz for a ...



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