Komeda Project


The Komeda Project was formed to honor the memory of Krzysztof Komeda (1931-1969), a Polish pianist/composer best known as the composer of the soundtracks for Roman Polanski’s groundbreaking movies—Knife in the Water and Rosemary’s Baby. This ambitious project unites two Polish musicians—pianist Andrzej Winnicki and saxophonist Krzysztof Medyna—with three American jazzmen—trumpeter Russ Johnson, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Nasheet Waits. Much has been made of the fact that while for decades American musicians have gone to Europe and performed and recorded there with local artists, in this case the Poles came over here and the group recorded in Brooklyn last year to commemorate the 40th anniversary of Komeda’s death. The disc opens with the three-part “Night-time, Daytime Requiem,” which features the horns playing a series of slow, unison-sustained notes while the rhythm section moves the music forward. As might be expected from the CD’s title, most of the music has a dirge-like quality, however the nine-minute-plus “Astigmatic,” from a 1965 recording by Komeda’s quintet (regarded by some as his masterpiece) sizzles with vitality thanks to solos by Winnicki and Medyna (on soprano sax) while Colley and Waits put the heat to the beat. Intriguing music, to say the least.