All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review


Komeda Project: Crazy Girl

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
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 Marricone's score for The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.

Trumpeter Tomasz Stanko worked on all of Komeda's Polish scores from the mid-1960s on and was the composer's closest musical associate and band member from 1963 until 1968. Stanko used Komeda's compositional vision to bring 1965's epochal Astigmatic to fruition—a style in jazz composition unique to Europe. Komeda and Stanko stand as the founders of modern Polish jazz.

The Komeda Project is a quintet devoted to the compositions of Komeda. It takes full advantage of the open structure the composer ensured in all of his pieces. This open structure should not frighten free jazz phobics. The music is rhythmic and lyrical. The quintet's musicianship is beautifully applicable and natural, with a certain organic recognition of the composer's intent.

These pieces were tailor-made for jazz interpretation outside the cinema. The title cut takes full advantage of pianist Andrzej Winnicki's assertive approach and tenor saxophonist Krzysztof Medyna's masculine and androgenic tone. The rhythm section of bassist Michael Bates and drummer Dave Anthony sets up a well-paced walking tempo that spurs trumpeter/flugelhornist Russ Johnson to some round-toned soloing.

The spirit of A Love Supreme is conjured in "Kattorna with its extensive introduction, but departs the vaporous for a quick paced Griot jog. The solo space is backed sparsely, allowing Johnson to explore his trumpeting fully. "Ballada is exactly that, a plaintive ballad. It is one of the most open-ended of the compositions and is accented by Michael Bates' arco playing against Johnson's brass calls. Medyna rounds out the piece with a fine tenor recital, slow and methodical, crossing with Johnson's flugelhorn. The entire disc exists in this vein, making it a compelling musical offering that stands apart from the typical, standard quintet fare.

Track Listing: Crazy Girl; Kattorna; Ballada; Is That Your Final Answer?; Svantetic Prelude; Svantetic; Tail Peace; Stop Time; Sleep Safe and Warm.

Personnel: Russ Johnson: trumpet and flugelhorn; Krzysztof Medyna: tenor and soprano saxophones; Andrzej Winnicki: piano; Michael Bates: bass; David Anthony: drums.

Title: Crazy Girl | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: WM Records


comments powered by Disqus



Komeda Project
Crazy Girl

CD/LP/Track Review
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
Read more articles


WM Records



WM Records

Crazy Girl

Crazy Girl

WM Records


Related Articles

Read Wherever You're Starting From CD/LP/Track Review
Wherever You're Starting From
by Troy Dostert
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery CD/LP/Track Review
Live in Miami @ the WDNA Jazz Gallery
by Jerome Wilson
Published: March 21, 2018
Read From Silence to Somewhere CD/LP/Track Review
From Silence to Somewhere
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Never Bet The Devil Your Head CD/LP/Track Review
Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 21, 2018
Read The Questions CD/LP/Track Review
The Questions
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Meerkat Parade CD/LP/Track Review
Meerkat Parade
by Geno Thackara
Published: March 20, 2018
Read "Riser" CD/LP/Track Review Riser
by Roger Farbey
Published: July 16, 2017
Read "Green Moss Black Sand" CD/LP/Track Review Green Moss Black Sand
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 30, 2017
Read "Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere" CD/LP/Track Review Kinfolk: Postcards From Everywhere
by Mike Jacobs
Published: July 15, 2017
Read "IL Y A" CD/LP/Track Review IL Y A
by John Eyles
Published: February 15, 2018
Read "The Moonlight Sessions, Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review The Moonlight Sessions, Volume 1
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: May 15, 2017
Read "Turbulence" CD/LP/Track Review Turbulence
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 17, 2018