Komeda Project: Ballad for Bernt


Ballad for Bernt


Komeda Project


Requiem (WM Records 358852)

Buy Track


Russ Johnson (flugelhorn), Scott Colley (bass), Nasheet Waits (drums),

Krzysztof Medyna (tenor sax), Andrzej Winnicki (piano)


Composed by Krzysztof Komeda


Recorded: Brooklyn, April 2009


Rating: 88/100 (learn more)

Tribute bands, for better or worse, are increasingly setting the tone for the jazz scene. But a tribute band dedicated to an artist outside the American hegemonic sphere is unusual, and even more so when the focus is on a musician best known as a film composer. Yet Krzysztof Komeda (1931-1969) is a deserving figure, and his work back in the 1960s played an important role in establishing the European jazz aesthetic that has spawned so many later bands and recordings. As a follow-up to their 2007 CD Crazy Girl the Komeda Project has returned with Requiem, and here they present a composition drawn from the score for the Roman Polanski film Knife in the Water. The piece is a languorous ballad in a Strayhorn-esque vein, and Russ Johnson steps to the fore on this track with a moody solo that extends the mood of the written melody. Even so, I found myself paying more attention to the rhythm section, and in particular Nasheet Waits, who manage to maintain the emotional temperature of Komeda's work, while instilling some sweet momentum on a chart that could easily drift away into the clouds.

Reviewer: Ted Gioia


Comments are closed.