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Krzysztof Komeda – The RCA Session (1998)

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Krzysztof Komeda – The RCA Session (1998)

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01. What a Difference a Day Made (Grever)
02. Martians Come Back
03. Pennies from Heaven (Burke/Johnston)
04. What a Difference a Day Made (Grever)
05. Four Brothers (Giuffre)
06. Bye Bye Blues (Bennet/Gray/Hamm)
07. St. Louis Blues (Handy) 08. St. Louis Blues (Handy) 09. Darktown Strutters’ Ball (Brooks)
10. Rose Room (Hickman)
Roman Dylag - Bass Krzysztof Komeda - piano Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski - Sax (Tenor) S. "Chala" Zwierzchowski - Guitar Jan Zylber - Drums

 

This final-for-now volume in Polonia's Kryzsztof Komeda series features his earliest recordings, an audition session for RCA in 1958. Bizarrely, given the state of remastering these days and that this was done in a studio, it sounds more like Fats Navarro's Savoy sessions done in the late '40s than something from the late '50s (but, then again, this was Eastern Europe). No matter, the development of Komeda's approach to melodic improvisation and his first attempts arranging for a quintet are showcased. All the players here -- Jan Wrobleski on tenor and Roman Dylag on bass, etc. -- feature prominently on other Komeda sessions. Komeda's own playing and that of Wrobleski are the only real things of interest. At least at that time, Komeda was influenced heavily by Count Basie's comping style: the in-the-cut blues phrasing and fat chord progressions for solos. Wrobleski -- evidenced best on Jimmy Giuffre's "Four Brothers" -- is an astonishing tenor player and clarinetist. He winds long lines around the rhythm section musicians, playing on top of and through them without losing his place in the chorus or the melody. Of the ten tunes here, only one is a Komeda composition; the rest, such as "St. Louis Blues" (two takes), "What a Difference a Day Makes" (two takes, which sound incomplete without Dinah Washington's vocal to accompany them), "Pennies From Heaven," "Four Brothers," "Darktown Strutters Ball," "Rose Room," etc., are standards. Komeda was angered that RCA decided not to release these sessions, but it's easy to hear why the label didn't. This is generic, if competent, jazz. As an ensemble, these groupings don't gel at all; they're like individuals attempting to play together rather than a band exploring the structure and harmonic registers inherent in a composition. And without the benefit of Komeda's own -- already by that time very sophisticated -- tunes, there is virtually nothing to recommend or remember. This is only for those who have to have everything by Komeda. ---Scott Yanow, Rovi

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