Sunday, November 5, 2017

Adam Pierończyk Quintet – Komeda – The Innocent Sorcerer (2010)

Adam Pierończyk Quintet

Adam Pierończyk -saxophone
Gary Thomas - saxophone
Nelson Veras - guitar
Anthony Cox - bass
Łukasz Żyta - drums

Komeda – The Innocent Sorcerer


By Adam Baruch

This is an album by Polish Jazz saxophonist/composer Adam Pierończyk dedicated to the music composed by the Godfather of Polish Jazz pianist/composer Krzysztof Komeda. Pierończyk recorded the album with an international quintet, which also features American saxophonist Gary Thomas, Brazilian guitarist Nelson Veras, American bassist Anthony Cox and Polish drummer Łukasz Żyta. Together they perform six compositions (one repeated twice), all composed by Komeda.

The Polish Jazz scene produced dozens of albums dedicated to the music of Komeda. Many of these records are pretty derivative and often not in par with Komeda's memory, but some are simply brilliant, and this is definitely one of the latter. Pierończyk manages to transform Komeda's music into new dimensions, completely unconventional and unexpected, which is very effective and creates a new perspective of Komeda's music.

The unique lineup of the quintet, which includes two saxophonists and guitar, which replaces the piano one would expect to be present on an album dedicated to Komeda's music, is just one of the surprises on this album. Then there is the fact that the tempi of each of the compositions are changed dramatically from the original ones, often using World Music influences like bossa nova and Cuban rhythmic patterns.

The fact that this album includes two American Jazz players and manages to incorporate them into this very non-American music is also a very significant contribution. They both leave their Bebop roots behind and step boldly into the new territory, contributing beautifully. Since these are all very talented musicians, the fact that everybody contributes excellent solos and plays along splendidly with the others is of course no surprise whatsoever.

The amalgam of Polish, American and Brazilian musical cultures works out wonderfully and Komeda's music is again verified as being beyond National borders and as all great music successfully transcends any Cultural diversities and as such this is a very significant tribute to Komeda's music. This album deserves an honorable place in every serious collection of Polish Jazz recordings.

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