Sunday, January 30, 2011

Adam Pieronczyk - Komeda: The Innocent Sorcerer (Jazzwerkstatt, 2010)

Composer and pianist Krzysztof Komeda was a legend in both jazz and film music, most well known for the Penguin crowned album Astigmatic and soundtrack work for several Roman Polanski movies. This album by talented tenor and soprano saxophonist Adam Pieronczyk takes a detailed look at eight Komeda compositions arranged by the leader for a band including Gary Thomas on tenor saxophone, Nelson Veras on guitar, Anthony Cox on bass and Lukasz Zyta on drums and percussion. The music has a wonderfully buoyant and light feel as if it could lift off into the stratosphere on the strength of the music and the compositions at any moment. The band works together very well with each member in service of the song rather than ego. Highlights of the album are the excellent guitar work and the unusual use of an old manual typewriter by Zyta on "Sleep Safe and Warm" which gives the music an unsettling and unusual air. "Crazy Girl," which the composer had dedicated to his wife is an exciting performance that allows the band members to stretch out both as a collective unit and in solo improvisation. Komeda composed many themes that are just beginning to be rediscovered by jazz musicians, hopefully this excellent and compelling album will pave the way for some more of his music to enter the repertoire of adventurous jazz musicians. Innocent Sorcerer -

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