Krzysztof Komeda

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Country: Poland

About Krzysztof Komeda
Krzysztof Komeda (born Krzysztof Trzciński 27 April 1931 in Poznań – 23 April 1969 in Warsaw) was a Polish film music composer and jazz pianist. Perhaps best-known for his work in film scores, Komeda wrote the scores for Roman Polański’s films Rosemary’s Baby, The Fearless Vampire Killers, Knife in the Water and Cul-de-sac. Komeda's 1966 album Astigmatic is widely regarded as one of the most important European jazz albums; critic Stuart Nicholson describes the album as "marking a shift away from the dominant American approach with the emergence of a specific European aesthetic."Born Krzysztof Trzcinski, he used Komeda as a stage name due to the Communist government's disesteem of jazz. He grew up in Częstochowa, Ostrów Wielkopolski where he earned his A-level certificate in 1950 at the Male Gymnasium, participated in the Music and Poetry Club, and did further studies in Poznań focusing on medicine. He took music lessons from early childhood; to become a renowned virtuoso was his dream. He became the member of the Poznań conservatoire at the age of eight, but unfortunately, the war thwarted his plans. Komeda explored the theory of music, and learned to play piano, during this period and later, until 1950; however, he was aware of the loss of the past six years. After graduating from the Gymnasium, he had to decide upon further studies. He chose to specialize as an ear, nose and throat physician. Komeda was interested in light and dance music. He met Witold Kujawski, the graduate of the same school and already a well-known swinging bass player, at the gymnasium (high school) in Ostrów Wielkopolski. It was Kujawski who acquainted Komeda-Trzciński with jazz, and took him to Kraków. The romantic period of Polish jazz, called the catacombs, had its day in the spotlight, concert publicity did not exist then. Jam-sessions, in which participated such famous musicians as Matuszkiewicz, Borowiec, Walasek and Kujawski himself, took place in the legendary, small Witold’s apartment in Kraków. Some years later, it became clear why Komeda was fascinated with be-bop performed by Andrzej Trzaskowski. The fascination with jazz and the friendship with famous musicians strengthened the connections of Krzysztof Trzciński with music, even though he was a doctor by profession. He worked for some time with the first, postwar, pioneer Polish jazz band, a group called Melomani that was from Kraków and Łódź, and which mainstays were Matuszkiewicz, Trzaskowski and Kujawski. Later on, he played with various pop groups from Poznań. One of them was Jerzy Grzewiński’s group, which soon transformed into dixieland band. Komeda appeared with Grzewiński on the I Jazz Festival in Sopot during August 1956, but he achieved success performing with saxophonist Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski and vibraphonist Jerzy Milian. The reason for that was simple: dixieland did not meet Komeda’s expectations at the time. He was most fascinated with modern jazz. Thanks to this passion, the Komeda Sextet was created. Krzysztof Trzciński used the stage name 'Komeda' for the first time when he worked at a laryngological clinic, and wanted to conceal his interest in jazz from co-workers. Jazz was beginning its struggle for respectability with the communist authorities in the era of 'the thaw' and Polish society also; it was regarded as a cheap suspicious music from night clubs.

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Poland Musicians Ranking

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Rank Name Total
1. Fryderyk Chopin 14254
2. Ryszard Riedel 2747
3. Kazik Staszewski 428
4. Maryla Rodowicz 326
5. Krzysztof Komeda 141
6. Ryszard Andrzejewsk 127
7. Paktofonika 104
8. Oginski 10

Musicians Ranking

Show All
Rank Name Total
528. Mazhar Khaleqi 149
529. Fadl Shaker 149
530. Manos Hatzidakis 148
531. Pitty 148
532. Krzysztof Komeda 141
533. Milton Nascimento 140
534. 50 Cent 139
535. The Gazette 137
536. Amal Anbary 137

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