Piotr Schmidt International Sextet - Komeda Unknown 1967 (SJRecords 062)
Online distribution: August 2022
Vinyl version: October 2022
The CDs purchased at this store are available with the autograph of Piotr Schmidt. In this case, please provide such information in the order form under "additional information".
Piotr Schmidt - tp
Kęstutis Vaiginis - ts, ss
David Dorużka - g
Paweł Tomaszewski - p
Harish Raghavan / Michał Barański - b
Jonathan Barber / Sebastian Kuchczyński - dr
Krzysztof Balkiewicz about the history of the album:
My Sweet European Homeland vol. 2
In October 1967 in Baden-Baden, Germany, Krzysztof Komeda recorded the jazz and poetry project Meine Süsse Europäische Heimat – My Sweet European Homeland. It would soon prove Komeda’s final European creation - in a sense, the composer’s farewell to Europe.
The album was released when Komeda was already in Hollywood, working on the score to Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby. Letters between Komeda and the album’s producer Joachim-Ernst Berendt made it clear that more tracks were recorded than were finally released on the album. In one letter, Komeda asked Berendt to swap some tracks. Berendt refused, arguing that certain poems better demonstrated the album’s European character than others. And that was all that remained of the extra tracks…
It seemed that these unknown compositions were lost until, during a meticulous archival research at the National Library in Warsaw, a true treasure was found: the manuscripts of six of Komeda’s compositions from the My Sweet European Homeland project, all six the original cast-offs.
These are the six lost compositions:
1. Jonasz (Jonah) - written for Zbigniew Herbert’s poem Jonasz;
2. Kiedy gaśnie lampa wyobraźni (When the Light of Imagination Goes Out) - written for Adam Ważyk’s Poemat dla dorosłych;
3. Klasyk (The Classic) - written for Zbigniew Herbert’s prose poem Klasyk;
4. Jan Cherubin - written for Mieczysław Jastrun’s poem Jan Cherubin;
5. Ich dwoje (Just the Two of Them) - written for Bolesław Leśmian’s poem – Dwoje ludzieńków
6. Miserere - written for Krzysztof Kamil Baczyński’s poem Miserere
Komeda, though known for a self-effacing attitude to his own artistry, called My Sweet European Homeland the best work of his life. Meanwhile, Joachim-Ernst Berendt wrote: “We have never yet had a poetry album with such beautiful, rich and emotional melodies!”. After over half a century, the unknown, hitherto missing part of Krzysztof Komeda’s My Sweet European Homeland will finally be heard by fans of the great jazz composer.
Interpreted and arranged by Piotr Schmidt, Komeda’s manuscripts have become extraordinary music, uncannily faithful to Krzysztof Komeda’s spirit. The lost set is accompanied by two compositions from the original album: Lament nad Europą and Po katastrofie, which serve to bridge the two parts of Komeda’s opus. What a wonderful homage to Krzysztof Komeda on the 90th anniversary of his birth, from Piotr Schmidt & friends. Our European homeland seems to have been waiting for this music…
Chair of the Society for the Protection of Krzysztof Komeda’s Legacy, Art Direktor of Love Polish Jazz Festival
Paweł Brodowski, Jazz Forum (Poland):
PIOTR SCHMIDT INTERNATIONAL SEXTET: Komeda Unknown 1967 (SJRecords)
It would be hard to count all the records with Krzysztof Komeda’s music released posthumously, not to mention the new interpretations which seem to appear endlessly. And just when you start to think that this area has been fully explored, there is always a new Komeda project lurking around the corner. But the truth is the legendary Polish pianist and composer Krzysztof Komeda has released only three full LPs during his lifetime – “Ballet Etudes” (Danish Metronome, 1963), his most famous “Astigmatic” (Polish Jazz vol. 5, 1965), and „Meine Süsse Europäische Heimat” (Columbia/EMI). The latter was a jazz and poetry session produced by Joachim-Ernst Berendt in Baden-Baden in June 1967, before Komeda’s final departure for Hollywood.
The sensational news is that now, 55 years later, it came to light that Komeda had prepared for the project more compositions than just those that made it to the wax. Six unknown pieces (only sheet music) have been discovered in the archives of the National Library in Warsaw! Trumpeter Piotr Schmidt decided to record these compositions with his own arrangements, trying to capture Komeda’s original spirit. In this effort he has received support of the first-class players making up the Piotr Schmidt International Sextet. The team include the leader on trumpet, Kęstutis Vaiginis on saxophones, David Dorużka on guitar, Paweł Tomaszewski on piano, Michał Barański on bass, and Sebastian Kuchczyński on drums, with two American musicians guesting on some of the pieces: Harish Raghavan on bass and Jonathan Barber on drums. The result is the uncanny “Komeda Unknown 1967”, just released by SJR Records.