Litania – Music of Krzysztof Komeda

COMPOSERS: Krzysztof Komeda
LABELS: ECM
ALBUM TITLE: Tomasz Stanko Septet
PERFORMER: Tomasz Sta´nko (tpt); Bernt Rosengren (ts); Joakim Milder (ss, ts); Bobo Stenson (p); Palle Danielsson (b); Jon Christensen (d); Terje Rypdal (g)
CATALOGUE NO: 537 551-2

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The premature death of Polish composer/pianist Krzysztof Komeda in 1969 robbed the film world – Roman Polanski and Andrzej Wajda, in particular – of a great musical collaborator; just how great was jazz’s loss is underlined by the cogency and originality of the Komeda pieces chosen for this tribute album by his closest musical associate, trumpeter Tomasz Sta´nko.

Lyricism heavily imbued with melancholy, hauntingly lilting melodies, freedom judiciously mixed with structure are Komeda’s hallmarks, whether his pieces are meditating on the loss of John Coltrane, paying tribute to his friend, the Swedish poet Svante Foerster, or conjuring up the subtly ambiguous moods of Knife in the Water or Rosemary’s Baby.

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A seminal figure in European jazz commemorated, appropriately enough, by the label that has done most to establish the continent’s music on a world stage. CP