455

Komeda Project: Requiem

By

Sign in to view read count
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 much of that associated with ECM. His influence continues. Tomasz Stanko, who came to maturity in Komeda's sextet, has recorded the beautiful Litania and the Marcin Wasilewski Trio recorded a fine early CD called Komeda when they were still called the Simple Acoustic Trio.

That heritage is very much apparent in the present Komeda Project, a quintet led by New York-resident Polish musicians, saxophonist Krzysztof Medyna and pianist Andrzej Winnicki. The two have been playing together since the '80s and in the Komeda Project have created both an homage to the composer and a brilliant band, here completed by trumpeter Russ Johnson, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Nasheet Waits.

The music is deeply reflective, at times somber, at other times pastoral, sometimes shot through with drama, as in the fanfares of the three-part "Night-time, Daytime Requiem" that frame both heated tenor work and contrasting trumpet. There's a sense of a cumulative forward momentum that at the same time possesses an inner repose. Some of Komeda's best-known works can be found here, including "Astigmatic," highlighted by a coiling soprano solo by Medyna, and the ethereal "Litania" with some flugelhorn work at the edge of introversion by Johnson, who provides many of the solo highlights. This profoundly lyrical CD can stand in the company of works like Herbie Hancock's Maiden Voyage and Kenny Wheeler's Deer Wan.

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.

Title: Requiem | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: WM Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren CD/LP/Track Review The Adventures of Zodd Zundgren
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Any Other Way CD/LP/Track Review Any Other Way
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 16, 2017
Read The Chase CD/LP/Track Review The Chase
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 16, 2017
Read Paint CD/LP/Track Review Paint
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 16, 2017
Read A Pouting Grimace CD/LP/Track Review A Pouting Grimace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 15, 2017
Read Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis CD/LP/Track Review Witches Stew: A Tribute to Miles Davis
by Doug Collette
Published: October 15, 2017
Read "Dream Within A Dream" CD/LP/Track Review Dream Within A Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 22, 2017
Read "Roll On" CD/LP/Track Review Roll On
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 25, 2017
Read "Confidences" CD/LP/Track Review Confidences
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 3, 2017
Read "The Eleventet - Please Call" CD/LP/Track Review The Eleventet - Please Call
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: February 4, 2017
Read "Alto Manhattan" CD/LP/Track Review Alto Manhattan
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "Tribute to Ndouga Dieng" CD/LP/Track Review Tribute to Ndouga Dieng
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 10, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.