The Komeda Project's follow-up to their extraordinary previous effort, Crazy Girl, is quite different on three levels.
There are more cinematic film noir compositions of their mentor Krzysztof Komeda, a lengthy epic suite is included, and the rhythm section includes fine American jazzmen Nasheet Waits on drums, and bassist Scott Colley. Where the music itself generally dismisses time signatures and floats on the surface rather than buzzing along, there are, on occasion, some more discernible beats and rhythmic pulses. The exceptional pianist Andrzej Winnicki, trumpeter Russ Johnson, and saxophonist Krzysztof Medyna team up to glide, slide, and skate on the wings of their U.S. friends, to create music that is highly accessible within a contemporary, creative improvised and thematic concept. One can imagine introspective movie scenes, slightly shaded in shadows, implying much more than is obvious.
Of the standalone tracks, "Astigmatic" is long-winded in Keith Jarrett mannerisms, bouncy and playful, with Winnicki holding down the bulk of the melodic work.
The pretty unison tandem of the two horns on "Ballad for Berndt" (taken from Roman Polanski's film Knife in the Water) takes into account Komeda's heightened sense of romanticism and irony.
"Litania" parallels regal and hymnal tones in lower-level dynamics as bolstered by Medyna's lead, "Anubis" is a John Coltrane-like modal piece with resonant singing by both horns, and "Elutka" (written by Winnicki) is a typical free-flowing piece bereft of rhythmic devices, allowed to drift downstream effortlessly. In three parts, "Night-time, Daytime Requiem" is evocative as the kiss of death, from encouraging fluttering trills and solemn passages that build momentum, fading into alluring waltz refrains, then going crazy. This story-telling, down-up-down roller coaster technique seems to have no cues or specific placement save its association with video inspiration, but a sad trumpet solo by Johnson and a 6/8 jazz swing brings the piece to a happier ending. Obviously, Requiem is a more somber project than Crazy Girl, each recording having lofty goals and substantial merit. It is the yin and yang that makes Komeda's music utterly fascinating, and in the sphere of Ennio Morricone, Nino Rota, or Kurt Weill, attractive for the modern jazz musician to face head on and embrace with passion and gusto.
|Night-Time, Daytime Requiem, Pt. 1 / Krzysztof Komeda||Komeda Project||7:53|
|Night-Time, Daytime Requiem, Pt. 2||Komeda Project||4:49|
|Night-Time, Daytime Requiem, Pt. 3||Komeda Project||5:46|
|Ballad for Bernt / Krzysztof Komeda||Komeda Project||6:23|
|Dirge for Europe / Krzysztof Komeda||Komeda Project||4:31|
|Astigmatic / Krzysztof Komeda||Komeda Project||9:19|
|Elutka / Andrzej Winnicki||Komeda Project||4:03|
|Prayer and Question / Krzysztof Komeda||Komeda Project||4:23|
|Litania / Krzysztof Komeda||Komeda Project||6:21|
|Anubis / Andrzej Winnicki||Komeda Project||6:09|