The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Eric My­ers

The Komeda Project An­drea Keller and Miroslav Bukovsky In­de­pen­dent Pol­ish jazz pi­anist Krzysztof Komeda, who died in 1969, was known pri­mar­ily for the mu­sic he com­posed for the films of Ro­man Polan­ski, in­clud­ing Rose­mary’s Baby. On this al­bum, Komeda’s in­ter­est­ing com­po­si­tions are reimag­ined by two con­tem­po­rary Aus­tralian jazz mu­si­cians of Czech her­itage, pi­anist An­drea Keller and trum­peter Miroslav Bukovsky. The brain­child of Pol­ish-born en­thu­si­ast Pe­ter Rech­niewski, now owner of Syd­ney jazz club Foundry 616, this worth­while project has had a pos­i­tive ef­fect in the na­tional jazz com­mu­nity. He se­cured fund­ing and pro­vided in­dis­pens­able work for an all-star octet, which per­formed this mu­sic at pres­ti­gious jazz fes­ti­vals in Mel­bourne and Syd­ney in 2014. ABC broad­caster Gerry Koster en­abled the mu­sic to be recorded. An all­star en­sem­ble in­cludes three horns, rhythm sec­tion and icon­o­clas­tic vi­o­lin­ist Erkki Veltheim.

In a full-blooded romp through Komeda’s mu­sic, eight bril­liant mu­si­cians show­case their in­di­vid­ual tal­ents as im­pro­vis­ers. A prime ex­am­ple is trom­bon­ist James Green­ing, whose play­ing epit­o­mises Syd­ney’s ex­pan­sive­ness and gen­eros­ity of spirit. The tear­away sax­o­phon­ist An­drew Rob­son is ex­cit­ing through­out; Ben Haupt­mann shows that he can throw the switch to high-en­ergy rock and make the gui­tar sing. Jonathan Zwartz (dou­ble bass) and Evan Man­nell (drums) an­chor an out­stand­ing rhythm sec­tion that in­cludes the ubiq­ui­tous An­drea Keller. Her eclec­tic ar­range­ment of Knife in the Wa­ter, from Polan­ski’s fea­ture film de­but, is one of many high­lights and, in Bukovsky’s ar­range­ment of Svan­tetic, she shows that, as a soloist, she can be re­lied on to pro­duce some­thing dis­tinc­tively orig­i­nal. Highly rec­om­mended.

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