All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

237

Adam Pieronczyk: Komeda: The Innocent Sorcerer

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Polish saxophonist Adam Pieronczyk pays tribute to his to his country's jazz pioneer, Krzysztof Komeda (b.1931, d.1969), with Komeda: The Innocent Sorcerer.

Pianist/composer Komeda is better known for his film work, in the United States, than for his jazz work. The title of the CD is taken from the soundtrack he composed for the 1960 Andrezej Wadjda film of the same name. He also wrote music for films of Ingmar Bergman and, most famously Stateside, for Roman Polanski films including A Knife in the Water (1962) and Rosemary's Baby (1968). For jazz fans familiar with Komeda, it is most likely in the context of his mentoring trumpeter Tomasz Stanko.

Adam Pieronczyk, born in 1970, shines a sparkling light on the work of Komeda without trying to imitate the master. Rather than employing piano, he chooses guitar, for a sound that lightens the moods and buoys up the atmospheric Old World drift of his beautiful, sometimes amorphous music.

The opener, "Wicker Basket," written for a Polish cartoon, has an introspective and slightly morose mood. Spacious and laconic, Pieronczyk's tenor sax adds a haunting quality that counterpoints Nelson Veras' light-toned acoustic guitar. "Kattorna" is from another soundtrack, and was included in Komeda's best-known album, Astigmatic (Polski Nagrania Muza, 1966). The leader's soprano sax gives the tune an astringent tang.

Lukasz Zyta's percussion work on "Kattorna"—and throughout the album—is quirky and masterful. He approach is crisp and succinct, as much punctuation as it is propulsion. He eschews big cymbal splashes and employs a variety of instruments that are difficult to identify since his contribution is so well incorporated in the ensemble. The dry shimmer of maracas and the jangle of a tambourine play into the beat, as well as the flat click-clack of a manual typewriter on the ominous "Sleep Safe and Warm," from Rosemary's Baby; there are times it sounds as if he is using kitchen utensils to create a controlled clamber on pots and pans, with remarkable skill and finesse.

"Crazy Girl" is the album's most lighthearted tune, as bright as a situation comedy theme song. "After the Catastrophe" scratches and drones into a gloomy soundscape, with Pieronczyk's soprano injecting some gathering hope.

It is said that Krzysztof Komeda injected a fresh, European aesthetic to jazz. Adam Pieronczyk reveals a fresh side of the pioneer's artistry with Komeda: The Innocent Sorcerer, a magnificent and compelling recording.

Track Listing: Wicker Basket; Kattorna; Sleep Safe and Warm; Crazy Girl; After the Catastrophe; Roman II; Kattorna (reprise).

Personnel: Adam Pieronczyk: soprano and tenor saxophones; Gary Thomas: tenor saxophone; Nelson Veras: guitar; Anthony Cox: bass; Lukasz Zyta: drums, percussion, typewriter.

Title: Komeda: The Innocent Sorcerer | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Jazzwerkstatt Berlin-brandenburg E.v.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Ad-lib Orbits

Ad-lib Orbits

Pao Records
2017

buy
Monte Alban

Monte Alban

Self Produced
2016

buy
Wings

Wings

Fortune Productions
2015

buy
A-Trane Nights

A-Trane Nights

Fortune Records
2015

buy
The Planet of Eternal Life

The Planet of Eternal...

Jazzwerkstatt Berlin-brandenburg E.v.
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller CD/LP/Track Review
Paul Heller Meets Roman Schwaller
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Change In The Air CD/LP/Track Review
Change In The Air
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Vera CD/LP/Track Review
Vera
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 18, 2018
Read In Motion CD/LP/Track Review
In Motion
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Marshian Time Slip CD/LP/Track Review
Marshian Time Slip
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Four On The Road CD/LP/Track Review
Four On The Road
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 17, 2018
Read "Ragas on Saxophone" CD/LP/Track Review Ragas on Saxophone
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 15, 2018
Read "A New Shade Of Blue" CD/LP/Track Review A New Shade Of Blue
by Mark Corroto
Published: November 15, 2017
Read "The Darkness Of A Fairy Tale" CD/LP/Track Review The Darkness Of A Fairy Tale
by Gareth Thompson
Published: August 15, 2018
Read "Der Dichter Spricht" CD/LP/Track Review Der Dichter Spricht
by Jerome Wilson
Published: July 7, 2018
Read "It Only Takes Time" CD/LP/Track Review It Only Takes Time
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 26, 2018
Read "Currents, Constellations" CD/LP/Track Review Currents, Constellations
by Mark Sullivan
Published: April 30, 2018