Tomasz Stańko / Tomasz Stanko Septet

Litania: The Music of Krzysztof Komeda

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Krzystof Komeda (1931-1969) was famous in Poland for writing over 40 film scores and for being one of the first modern jazz musicians, working as a pianist and composer. In his tribute to Komeda, trumpeter Tomasz Stanko and his sextet (which includes Bernt Rosengren and Joakim Milder on tenors; pianist Bobo Stenson; bassist Palle Danielsson; drummer Jon Christensen; and guest guitarist Terje Rypdal, who adds fire to two of the ten performances) interpret three of his film melodies (all from Roman Polanski films) and a few of his jazz compositions. The music is mostly episodic (particularly "Night-time, Daytime Requiem," which clocks in at 21:47), dark, and introspective. The emphasis is on the themes, and the variations stick mostly to the original mood. Nothing is really jammed, and the musicians' personalities are secondary to Komeda's compositions. Rosengren is featured on Komeda's "Ballad for Bernt," and there are short solos elsewhere, but much of the music is played by the full ensemble. Depending on one's musical tastes, the results are either dull or intriguing, but definitely picturesque and cinematic.

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