Various Artists

We'll Remember Komeda

  • AllMusic Rating
    9
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

1998 saw the release of this brilliant and moving tribute by the musicians who played with and were influenced by the late Polish composer and pianist Krzysztof Komeda. That these musicians make up the elite of the Poland's jazz scene is plenty notable and a tribute to Komeda's vision and influence. They are trumpeter Tomasz Stanko, violinist and saxophonist Michal Urbaniak and Zbigniew Seifert, bassist Roman Dylag, drummer Peter Giger, vocalist Urszula Dudziak, guitarist Attila Zoller, and percussionist Armen Halburian. The program consists of six of Komeda's compositions arranged by various members of the group, musically directed here by Stanko. Among the most notable tracks are the opener, "Choral and Repetition," the "Crazy Girl" theme from Komeda's score for Roman Polanski's Knife in Water, and the theme from Rosemary's Baby. The opener is where we get the picture of Komeda's influence on three successive generations of jazzmen from Eastern Europe. In Stanko's arrangement, the languid, processional intro is stretched to its limit. Instead of the nearly modal hard bop improvisational section that followed the theme and a quicker tempo, Stanko offers a near-free jazz reading at a breakneck pace. It's breathtaking and a little intimidating, but sublime nonetheless. Also, Zoller's gorgeous "No Lovesong at All," played with his own quartet, is a strikingly beautiful and mysterious pastoral read of the original. Where Komeda allowed the melody to suggest harmonic variations that follow it, Zoller inverts the process and the melody flows from the harmonic convergence of his guitar's interplay with the bass and cymbals; remarkable and haunting. In sum, this is a welcome addition to the Komeda library and his legacy that remains, decades after his death, pervasive.

blue highlight denotes track pick