Komeda Project: Requiem (2010)
That heritage is very much apparent in the present Komeda Project, a quintet led by New York-resident Polish musicians, saxophonist Krzysztof Medyna and pianist Andrzej Winnicki. The two have been playing together since the '80s and in the Komeda Project have created both an homage to the composer and a brilliant band, here completed by trumpeter Russ Johnson, bassist Scott Colley and drummer Nasheet Waits.
The music is deeply reflective, at times somber, at other times pastoral, sometimes shot through with drama, as in the fanfares of the three-part "Night-time, Daytime Requiem" that frame both heated tenor work and contrasting trumpet. There's a sense of a cumulative forward momentum that at the same time possesses an inner repose. Some of Komeda's best-known works can be found here, including "Astigmatic," highlighted by a coiling soprano solo by Medyna, and the ethereal "Litania" with some flugelhorn work at the edge of introversion by Johnson, who provides many of the solo highlights. This profoundly lyrical CD can stand in the company of works like Herbie Hancock's Maiden Voyage and Kenny Wheeler's Deer Wan.
Track Listing: Night-time, Daytime Requiem (Part 1); Night-time, Daytime Requiem (Part 2); Night-time, Daytime Requiem (Part 3); Ballad for Bernt; Dirge for Europe; Astigmatic; Elutka; Prayer and Question; Litania; Anubis.
Personnel: Russ Johnson: trumpet, flugelhorn; Krzysztof Medyna: tenor and soprano saxophone; Andrzej Winnicki: piano; Scott Colley: bass; Nasheet Waits: drums.
Record Label: WM Records
Style: Modern Jazz