Jazz In Polish Cinema

Jazz in Polish Cinema: Out of the Underground 1958-67
Works for film by composers Krzysztof Komeda and Andrzej Trzaskowski
Tomasz Stańko – trumpet; Don Cherry – trumpet; Michał Urbaniak – violin, saxophone; Zbigniew Namyslowski – saxophone; and various other artists from original recordings
Jazz On Film Records (4 CD Box Set – rel. date: 17 Nov 2014)

This box set is a treasure-trove of rare and previously unissued classic jazz film soundtracks written by a pair of legendary Polish composers and pianists—Krzysztof Komeda and Andrzej Trzaskowski.

Among the first time ever released tracks on ‘Jazz in Polish Cinema – Out of the Underground 1958-1967‘ is the soundtrack to the celebrated Night Train [Pociag], with a score by Trzaskowski (it is based on the swing band leader Artie Shaw’s “Moonray” theme, with vocals by acclaimed Polish jazz vocalist Wanda Warska). As well released for the first time in its entirety is Andrzej Wajda’s Innocent Sorcerers, containing a classic jazz score by Komeda and previously unissued tracks in any format featuring the great Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stańko.

‘Jazz in Polish Cinema’ also contains both previously unheard and rare releases featuring the likes of Don Cherry, Gato Barbieri, Zbigniew Namyslowski and Michał Urbaniak. The CDs are high quality remasters, the large majority of which have been transferred direct from the original master tapes with additional rare ‘alternative’ versions of tracks from the film scores also included.

The box set also contains a deluxe illustrated 80-page bound booklet that examines in depth a fascinating and highly significant period in Polish cultural history. The booklet is annotated by the UK’s leading jazz magazine Jazzwise journalist Selwyn Harris (the producer and curator of the set) with an introduction to Polish jazz during the post-war period by the respected Polish jazz author-composer Adam Slawinski, writer of the original liner notes for Komeda’s pioneering studio album Astigmatic.

Jazz on Film Records officially released the album on November 17 of Jazz in Polish Cinema following a successful concert on the previous Saturday at the London Jazz Festival that included an introduction by the box set producer Selwyn Harris and a brilliant short ‘live’ solo piano set by the leading young Polish pianist Marcin Masecki. Masecki’s personal interpretations of a selection of soundtrack themes by Krzysztof Komeda from the box set (including Le Depart, Innocent Sorcerers and Knife in the Water) segued perfectly into a rare big screening of Polanski’s Knife in the Water and ended with Q&A with Selwyn Harris hosted by Michael Brooke.

This album and the concert were supported by the Polish Cultural Institute in London.

[Sources: jazzonfilmrecords.com, amazon.co.uk, efglondonjazzfestival.org.uk]