Tag Archives: Krystof Komeda

STONNINGTON PAYS TRIBUTE

Andrea Keller and Andrew Robson

Andrea Keller and Andrew Robson in The Komeda Project at Bennetts Lane

PREVIEW

Andrea Keller and Miroslav Bukovsky Octet, The Komeda Project, Chapel Off Chapel, Friday 15 May, 7.50pm, $25 – $30

LAST night one of my favourite festivals of improvised music was launched at Malvern Town Hall with a grab bag of acts including Women of Soul, Paul Williamson’s Hammond Jazz Party and the Compton Organ Exhibition.

Sadly, the familiar red, black and white program for the 10-year anniversary of this all-Australian jazz festival is missing the familiar face of its artistic director for many years, Adrian Jackson.

Yet the guiding hand of Jackson, which has been especially valued for bringing together unusual and spectacularly successful combinations of artists at Stonnington’s festival and over the years at Wangaratta Festival of Jazz and Blues, is still evident in at least one concert this year.

Jackson had booked Andrea Keller and Miroslav Bukovsky to  present The Komeda Project at Stonnington well before he handed over the reins to program director Darcy Condon — booker for Sydney venues The Hopetoun Hotel and The Annandale Hotel during their glory days in the early 1990s, part of the team that established The Metro on George Street and more recently part of the team organising Byron Bay’s Splendour In the Grass festival.

With an ensemble of eight brilliant Australian contemporary musicians, Keller and Bukovsky in December last year at Bennetts Lane Jazz Lab treated us to a spectacularly creative response to, and reinterpretation of, some music of Polish film music composer and jazz pianist Krzysztof Komeda. The two sets were quite different, reflecting Keller and Bukovsky’s different takes on Komeda’s music.

If you have the chance to get to anything on the program at this year’s Stonnington festival, do not miss this chance — tonight, 15 May at 7.50pm at Chapel Off Chapel — to be moved and warmed by the creativity of Canberra trumpet player/composer/improviser Bukovsky and Melbourne’s pianist/composer/improvisor Andrea Keller along with the Stonnington Youth Jazz Initiative.

The program does not list musicians in the line-up, but I assume James Greening will be in town to add his charm, wit and trombone work to die for. And it is to be hoped that Erkki Veltheim will be in the octet.

To whet the appetite, here are a few images from the Bennetts Lane performance of The Komeda Project. I am sorry that work prevents me from being there tonight for what was a musical highlight for me in its earlier incarnation.

ROGER MITCHELL

The Komeda Project at Bennetts Lane

The Komeda Project at Bennetts Lane

Andrew Robson and Miroslav Bukowsky

Andrea Keller, Andrew Robson and Miroslav Bukovsky

Erkki Veltheim

Erkki Veltheim

The Komeda Project

The Komeda Project

James Greening

Miroslav Bukovsky and James Greening

DARK EYES — TOMASZ STANKO QUINTET

CD REVIEW

Dark Eyes

(ECM Records)
****
POLISH trumpeter Tomasz Stanko, whose albums Soul of Things (2003) and Suspended Night (2004) were gonged by Australia’s Bell Awards judges, once said he loved the “extremely great melancholy mood” of Antonioni’s film Il Grido.
Stanko’s sublimely mournful playing is a brooding presence in this restrained outing, as he welcomes two Finns — pianist Alexi Tuomarila and drummer Olavi Louhivuori — and Danes Jakob Bro on guitar and Anders Christensen on electric bass to explore his hauntingly simple, moving compositions — including a reworked Last Song — and two by his film mentor, pianist Krystof Komeda.
The mood lightens in Grand Central and an upbeat finish to The Dark Eyes of Martha Hirsch (inspired by an Oskar Kokoschka painting), but Stanko’s plaintive and grittily soulful horn is paramount.
That said, Tuomarila’s lyricism and Bro’s subtlety combine perfectly with the grounding of Christensen and Louhivuori.
In Dark Eyes lies sombre satisfaction.

DOWNLOAD: The Dark Eyes of Martha Hirsch
FILE BETWEEN: Chet Baker, Miles Davis

ROGER MITCHELL

Review published previously in Sunday Herald Sun, Melbourne