Komeda Quintet – Astigmatic (Polish Jazz)
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Astigmatic is a studio album by Polish jazz pianist and composer Krzysztof Komeda. It is often considered to be Komeda’s masterpiece as well as one of the greatest albums of both Polish and European jazz.
Astigmatic consists of three long tracks, all written by Komeda. “Kattorna” (meaning “female cats” in Swedish) is based on a motif from Komeda’s soundtrack for a movie of the same name directed by Henning Carlsen. “Svantetic” is dedicated to Svante Foerster, a Swedish poet who was a friend of Komeda.
The music combines many disparate elements, including modal playing, free jazz-inspired improvisation, precise forms, tone clusters, aleatoric structures and avant-garde use of timbre and articulation, while imbuing them with individual expression and a sense of dramatic lyricism that’s been compared to late Romantic music.