Astigmatic
KRZYSZTOF KOMEDA

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KRZYSZTOF KOMEDA - Astigmatic cover
4.52 | 4 ratings | 1 review
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Album · 1966

Filed under Post Bop

Tracklist

A.Astigmatic (22:50)
B1.Kattorna (7:20)
B2.Svantetic (15:50)

Line-up/Musicians

- Krzysztof Komeda / piano,
- Zbigniew Namysłowski / alto sax,
- Tomasz Stańko / trumpet,
- Guenter Lenz / bass,
- Rune Carlsson / drums

About this release

Polskie Nagrania Muza – XL 0298(Poland)

Recorded in Warsaw, December 1965

Re-released on CD by Polonia (Poland,1998)

Thanks to snobb for the addition

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KRZYSZTOF KOMEDA ASTIGMATIC reviews

Specialists/collaborators reviews

snobb
One of the best Polish jazz album coming from XX century. Krzysztof Komeda often is named as godfather of Polish modern jazz. He was born in 1931 and graduated as doctor-laryngologist turned to self-taught jazz musician/composer in a country, where jazz was officially proclaimed as "the arms of capitalist propaganda".

He is mostly known worldwide by his soundtracks to early Hollywood Roman Polansky movies (Rosemary’s Baby, The Fearless Vampire Killers, Knife in the Water and Cul-de-sac).But in Poland he was kind of domestic Miles Davis in early 60-s: differently from almost all rest Eastern European countries, Poland had old jazz tradition, but officials were absolutely intolerable to any form of modern jazz.

Astigmatic was recorded in half-underground conditions just in one night. Three long compositions, combining post-bop,some classical music influences and free-jazz elements still have strong structure and melodic component. Sound is quite sharp,very precise and obviously influenced by European jazz and Polish soulful musical tradition both.

Continuing the parallel with Miles Davis, playing with Komeda has been a start of great career as world class musician for some leading Polish jazz artists. On Astigmatic you can hear excellent early musicianship of sax player Zbigniew Namysłowski and trumpeter Tomasz Stańko (them both are first class Polish jazz musicians till now).

Few years after release of this album Komeda stayed in Los Angeles where he composed film music for Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby and Kulik’s The Riot. In December 1968, in Los Angeles, Komeda had a tragic car accident which led to a haematoma of the brain. He did not have US medical insurance and was transported back to Poland,there during friendly rough-and-tumble with writer Marek Hłasko, Komeda fell down and suffered head injuries.He died in 23 April 1969 being just 38.

His legacy contains only a few studio albums of jazz recordings, but huge soundtrack discography. Komeda is most influential artist in Polish modern jazz till now, it's a pity he isn't really known by his jazz recordings around the world. "Astigmatic" is excellent entrance to his music (and to Polish jazz as well if you still aren't familiar with it).

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