Krzysztof Komeda —
Astigmatic ... CD Polskie Nagrania/Power Brothers (Poland), 1965. Used ...
Out Of Stock
Possibly the most fantastic recording ever from the greatest talent of Polish jazz! The material was recorded in 1965, in the years before Komeda followed Roman Polanski to the US to score his films like Rosemary's Baby – and it's one of the greatest modernist albums of the 60s jazz scene on either side of the Atlantic – a record we'd rank right up there with the best from Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus, Joe Harriott, or other forward-thinking talents of the generation! The style is incredibly modernist, but with none of the over-indulgences that later plagued the Polish prog-oriented scene, and with none of the non-jazz influences that could stop a session like this dead in the water – and instead, the band grooves mightily in a blend of sharp edges and modal rhythms – a tremendous blend that makes the album as appealing to fans of more soulful jazz as it does to those looking for bold modernist statements. The quintet features 2 of Poland's other key jazz figures from the time – Tomasz Stanko on trumpet and Zbigniew Namyslowski on alto sax – and other members include Gunter Lenz on bass and Rune Carlson on drums. Titles are all Komeda originals, all nice and long – and include "Astigmatic", "Kattorna", and "Svantetic". CD
A record that's nicely lean and focused compared to some of the darker, moodier records from this Polish group – almost as if they've shaken out a few layers in the mix, and focused a bit more on some of the acoustic elements in their lineup! There's still plenty of the deep bass guitar lines that made previous records so bold – handled here by Wuja HZG – and Latarnik plays a range of keyboards that are both acoustic and electric – yet these are often offset by saxophone contributions from OlafSaxx, who himself brings in some keyboards too – almost using them with an understanding of how they balance his instrument. The group's completed by percussion from Cancer G, who brings in some beats as well – on titles that include "Ignorancja", "Umiar", "Chryja", "Hipokryzja", "Farmazon", and "Mitomania". CD
A set that's even more searing and sonically intense than the debut of this genre-hopping group – served up in this bracing blend of electric and acoustic instrumentation that almost takes us back to the 90s experiments on Axiom Records from the Bill Laswell generation! there's plenty of guitar and bass here – the former from Javi Perez, the latter from Jamie Benzies – driven strongly by the fierce drum work of Tim Toyle, and topped with trumpet from Axel Kaner Lidstrom, tenor from James Mollison, keyboards and electronics from Tile Gichigi Lipere, and a mix of tenor, bass, clarinet, and flute from Rob Milne – all coming together with a very dark, textured, almost layered sort of sound – even though the performance here seems to be mostly live. Titles include "3301", "Fallacy", "The Cracks In The Bricks", "Ashen Faun", "Last Throes Of The Temporal Monolith", and "Crystalline Peaks". CD
Piotr Damasiewicz & Power Of The Horns Ensemble —
Polska ... CD Astigmatic (Poland), 2020. New Copy ...
A fantastically bold breath of life from the contemporary Polish jazz scene – a record that begins with a sublime tribute to the great Billy Harper, then takes off into even more mindblowing territory as things move on! The group's led by trumpeter Piotr Damasiewicz, who created the record as a tribute to some of the best Polish modern jazz giants of decades past – but with a voice that's completely fresh, and very much his own – served up by a killer ensemble that features soaring horns, bold solo moments, and two different bassists holding down the core! The tunes instantly explode with color and life – hitting a rich spirit that marks Piotr as a musician we're going to keep our eye on in coming years – with other musicians who include Maciej Obara on alto, Adam Pindur on soprano, Pawel Niewiadomski on trombone, Gerard Lebik on tenor, and Dominik Wania on piano. Titles include "Billy", "Psalm For William Parker", "Polska I", and "Kleofas". CD
2061 ... CD Astigmatic (Poland), 2022. New Copy ...
Fantastic work from EABS – a combo who continue to amaze us with the diversity of sounds they create, and the depth of feeling they can get from a mix of acoustic and electric instruments! There's maybe an even deeper spiritual vibe going on here than previous records – music that's not afraid to borrow some currents from the world of contemporary soul, yet still stays strongly in jazz territory overall – electric rhythms at some points, acoustic at others – blended with a range of wonderful keyboards from Marek Latarnik Pedziwiatr, next to trumpet from Jakub Kurek, and tenor and soprano sax from Olaf Wegier. The great tenorist Jan Ptaszyn Wroblewski guests on the track "A Farewell To Mother Earth" – and other tracks include "Lucifer", "Dead Silence", "Mystery Of Monolith", "Global Warning", "Ain't No Mercy", and "The Odyssey Of Dr Heywood Floyd". CD
A really great take on the music of Sun Ra – served up by a group from the contemporary Polish scene – one who clearly have a strong influence from Ra and his Arkestra, but who also take the sounds in really great directions of their own! The group is maybe a bit heavier on keyboard work than some of the classic recordings – with piano, Fender Rhodes, synths, and moog playing a strong role throughout – amidst a duo of horns from Jakub Kurek on trumpet and Olaf Wegier on soprano, alto, and tenor – providing a leaner version of the sound that you'd hear from the Arkestra, but one that's also got a lot of focus and energy too. The record intersperses spoken bits by Ra in a really great way – and titles include versions of "Interstellar Low Ways", "Neo Project 2", "Trying To Put The Blame On Me", "UFO", "The Lady With The Golden Stockings", and "Brainville". CD
The spirits here are way more than Slavic – as Eabs continues its strong run of genre-breaking work in jazz – music that's often a bit hard to pin down as it moves through a range of sounds, styles, and sonic approaches! There's certainly some jazz at the core, but there's also a richer sense of the overall presence of the music – maybe that earlier experimental quality of ECM, but brought back into a fuller group, and nicely shaken of any sort of ECM pretense – with a vibe that's younger and more earnest to get their message across. A key part of their approach features some key sound effects from Spisek Jednego, who layers in all these organic elements – next to some fantastic keyboard contributions from Marek Pedziwiatar, reeds from Tenderlonious and Olaf Wegier, trumpet from Jakub Kurek, guitar from Vojto Monteur, drums from Marcin Rak, and bass from Pawel Stachowiak. Titles include "Sun Worship", "Sleza", "The Noon Witch", "Woodland Spirit", and "The Darkness". CD
An incredible pairing of talents – one Polish group, one Pakistani – coming together here on a set that may well be the most impressive release on the completely wonderful Astigmatic label! We've loved their releases by both EABS and Jaubi, yet somehow together they've reached a sound that's even more uplifting and righteous than their work alone – using the keyboards and saxes of the first group with the sharper guitar and Indian percussion of the latter – to craft a sound that's got the globe-spanning sense of hope and joy that a project like this can foster. Titles include "Moon", "Madhuvanti", "Tomorrow", "Raise Your Hearts Drop Your Guns", "Strange Love", "Yesterday", "Whispers", and "Judgement Day". CD
(Comes in a very cool package!)
Marianna ... CD Astigmatic (Poland), 2022. New Copy ...
Beautiful solo piano work from Marek Latarnik Pedziwiatr – a player you might know for his crucial contributions to the groups EABS and Jaubi – sounding very different and a lot more personal here on his own! Latarnik's touch on the piano is often very rhythmic and lyrical at the same time – less of the freer flights of Keith Jarrett improvisations, or the spacious tones of Bugge Wesseltoft in such a mode – and instead working in a way that uses the instrument to create these really wonderful cycles of sound – sometimes with a gentle pulse, sometimes with a much fuller flow! Titles include "Panna", "Glod", "Wspomienie", "Berlin", "Strach 1945", "Marta", and "Maradki". CD
Yoni Mayraz is a pianist, but one who plays keyboards in modes that are much more than conventional jazz – and which instead really reflect the changes in the London scene where he's made his home in recent years! The record bristles with some of the best sort of creative inspirations we'd be likely to hear on a label like Brownswood or 22A – definitely jazz at the core, but with rhythms and instrumentation that really break past the usual format – as Yoni deftly blends his own keyboards with crackling live drums, driving basslines, tenor, flute, and trumpet – all used in these shifting, inventive progressions from track to track. This is cosmic creative jazz at its finest – with tracks that include "Palms", "The Master Wore A White Robe", "Pawnshop", "Painkillers", "As We Entered Jericho", "1999", "South Star", and "The Biggest Fear". CD
Beautiful improvised work from legendary Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko – work that's much more powerful and bracing than the atmospheric recordings he would do for ECM in later years! The work here comes right at a key moment for free jazz on the European scene – and Stanko works with some of the modern structures of his important 60s material with Kryzstof Komeda, but with looser styles that really lets the organic energy of the group take over from more compositional directions – especially on the two very long tracks that comprise the core of the material. The music has never been issued to the public before – and represents a key look at these important years when Poland was one of the most important jazz scenes behind the Iron Curtain – thanks to experimental work from Stanko on trumpet, Janusz Muniak on flute and soprano, Zbigniew Seifert on violin, Bronislaw Suchanek on bass, and Janusz Stefanski on drums and flexatone. Titles include "Calme", "6 & 8 1", and "6 & 8 2" – plus the short "Flute's Ballad". CD
A cinematic blend of electronics and percussion – served up in a way that every bit as evocative as a vintage soundtrack, especially work from the 80s action years – yet handled with a sonic richness that often surpasses music from that generation too! The group's a duo – and features Latarnik on keyboards and piano, an artist you may know from other great titles on the Astigmatic label – working in collaboration here with drummer Cancer G, who also plays some keyboards as well – as the pair craft these tracks that open up with all sorts of subtle shifts in tone, color, action, and life. Titles include "Minus 10 Celsius", "Nadeszia Zima", "Zamrozenie", "Zamiec", "Roztopy", "Ostatnia Taka Zima", and "Lawina". CD