Komeda Project | Requiem – [WM Records, 2009]
Plenty has been written about European musicians approaching the American jazz tradition; it’s far rarer to hear about American musicians bringing their heritage to distinctly European projects. Capitalizing on the critical acclaim for its debut “Crazy Girl“, pianist/composer/arranger Andrzej Winnicki and saxophonist Krzysztof Medyna – the driving force behind Komeda Project – bring trumpeter Russ Johnson back for their new CD “Requiem”. What makes Requiem different, however, and a significant evolution over Crazy Girl, is the enlistment of über-bassist SCOTT COLLEY and the equally ubiquitous drummer NASHEET WAITS.
Like Crazy Girl, Requiem’s primary focus is to bring the music of the late, legendary Polish composer/pianist Krzysztof Komeda (Rosemary’s Baby; Knife in the Water) into the new millennium with fresh arrangements, but this time the approach is far more open-ended. Sacrificing the “comfort zone” of a group familiar with the music, Winnicki and Medyna opted, instead, for the first encounter “sound of surprise” that comes from working with master musicians like Colley and Waits. “The profile of the repertoire on Crazy Girl was different,” says Medyna. “The songs were selected more for gigging, so they were more straight-ahead.” Continue reading