Krzysztof Komeda - piano/composer
Krzysztof Komeda W Polskim Radiu Vol.05 – Muzyka Baletowa I Filmowa - Czesc Druga
POLSKIE RADIO 1865
By Adam Baruch
This is the fifth installment in a new series of albums launched by the Polish Radio, which presents radio recordings by the Godfather of Polish Jazz, pianist/composer/bandleader Krzysztof Komeda. Komeda is of course the most familiar name associated with Polish Jazz and his legacy is of crucial importance to Polish and European Jazz. Considering the fact that Komeda's studio recordings are relatively scarce, the radio recordings are in fact the main source of his recorded legacy, as they include among others the Jazz Jamboree festival appearances by Komeda and his various ensembles over the years.
Eight of the ten tracks on this album were recorded between 1961 and 1964 during the forth to seventh edition of the seminal Jazz Jamboree Festival in Warsaw, this collection showcases legendary Komeda ensembles (quintet/trio), which in many respects were the quintessential vehicles, which presented Komeda's music at its pinnacle. Two additional tracks were recorded in the Polish Radio Studio, both featuring vocals, the second of which is especially interesting as it presents an early recording by vocalist Urszula Dudziak.
The musicians, besides Komeda of course, include top Polish Jazz musicians at the time: trumpeter Tomasz Stanko, saxophonist Michal Urbaniak, bassists Maciej Suzin and Roman Dylag, drummer Czeslaw Bartkowski, vocalist Wanda Warska and others, as well as Swedish musicians: saxophonist Bernt Rosengren and drummer Rune Carlsson.
The music is of course selected to reflect Komeda's involvement with composing music for cinema, theatre and ballet. A few bonus tracks are also added, which are not connected with the above, but present rarely heard Komeda's recording. Overall this is a collection of excellent Jazz music, superbly performed, which is an absolute delight to anybody who loves Jazz. It is a fundamental piece of every decent Polish Jazz record collection, especially in the case of the younger generation of listeners, which is just getting acquainted with the enormous legacy of Polish Jazz.
The recordings are splendidly restored and remastered and nicely packaged in an elegant digipak/slipcase. Dates, places and lineups are faithfully included and even personal liner notes by Polish Jazz critic Filip Kosinski are present, but there is no in-depth background material about Komeda and his music, however considering the plentitude of published material and several excellent books on the subject, an intelligent listener can easily bridge the knowledge gap. The only small reservation one might have is the fact that these recordings have been already released many times, more or less legally on the somewhat untamed Polish music market, which means they is already owned by the serious Polish Jazz collectors, probably more than once.