Wojtek Mazolewski Quintet
When Angels Fall
Whirlwind, 2019

July 27, 2020

Wojtek Mazolewski’s second album is a tribute to Krzysztof Komeda, Polish jazz legend and famed Hollywood soundtrack composer.

Krzysztof Komeda (1931–1969), pianist and composer, was one of the most brilliant Polish musicians. His album Astigmatic is considered one of the most important records in the history of European jazz, and Komeda also wrote the soundtracks for a few Roman Polanski films:  Knife in the Water (1962), Cul-de-sac (1966), The Fearless Vampire Killers (1967), and Rosemary’s Baby (1968). In his second album as leader, Wojtek Mazolewski pays homage to the great Polish master after having long explored and studied his work.

It is Mazolewski himself who recounts the making of the album:  “As I was preparing to make this album, I immersed myself in Komeda’s music, read his publications and memoirs, met people who had known him, and visited the places where he lived, from Poznan to Los Angeles. I felt that I needed to have a real feeling for who he was and how he lived which helped to enrich the project with a new awareness as well as deeper feelings and emotions. As a result, I have spent the past three years creating original material based on Komeda’s music for the Wojtek Mazolewski Quintet (WMQ).”

The album is characterized by a kaleidoscopic music: the first few songs (which are representative of the whole record) move elegantly from the contemporary atmospheres of “When Angels Fall” (with a delicious double bass solo) to the terrifying and anxious ones of “Roman II “, which contrast with the melancholic jazz-waltz of” Le départ “. The formation sees the leader on the double bass, Oskar Torok on trumpet and electronics, Oba Janicki on drums and percussion, Joanna Duda on piano and Wurlitzer and Marek Pospieszalski on tenor.

“When Angels Falls” is a record that works on several levels: it demonstrates the eclecticism of Mazolewski and his quintet and at the same time pays homage to a great European jazz musician who died prematurely. In short, a particularly beautiful and significant record, a tribute that Komeda would certainly have appreciated.
(EM)

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