Born: January 26, 1956 Primary Instrument: Piano
Plenty has been written about European musicians approaching the American jazz tradition; it's far rarer to hear about American musicians bringing their heritage to distinctly European projects. Capitalizing on the critical acclaim for its debut Crazy Girl, pianist/composer/arranger Andrzej Winnicki and saxophonist Krzysztof Medyna - the driving force behind Komeda Project - bring trumpeter Russ Johnson back for their new CD Requiem. What makes Requiem different, however, and a significant evolution over Crazy Girl, is the enlistment of über-bassist Scott Colley and the equally ubiquitous drummer Nasheet Waits...
The Komeda Project at Cornelia Street was electrifying, the core, the exciting, the very alive essence of Komeda himself jumped from the stage. Winnicki is a better pianist than Komeda ever was. His comping, moreover, was perfect, his voicings and timing lifting the music... hearing this music live was a fantastic experience ... --Budd Kopman/allaboutjazz.com
Among music fans, jazz people typically possess an exaggerated need for new stimuli. To hear something that has not been heard before is their endless quest. They are hereby directed to Crazy Girl by the Komeda Project. Not that this music is radical. But its basis in the compositions of Krzysztof Komeda, and its three soloists - gifted but little-known American outcat and two even less known Polish heavyweights - make Crazy Girl notably fresh. Pianist Andrzej Winnicki plays solos made of sudden shifts that all cohere, and is a blocky, confrontational accompanist. Performance: **** --Thomas Conrad/Stereophile
Winnicki is also a stellar soloist, with amazing technique and original ideas who understands Komeda's kinship with classical and ethnic Polish musics. His two original tunes, 'Elutka' and 'Anubis' meld seamlessly with the Komeda pieces, yet retain their own character. --Dave Wayne/jazzreview.com
Even amongst the many engaging, skillfully-executed projects that cross our desk, it's rare to discover something as unexpectedly compelling as this. Andrzej's arrangements of Komeda's works are sophisticated and engaging, bringing to mind the warm vibe of such classic recordings as 'Kind of Blue' and 'Blues and the Abstract Truth' ... and the entire group's musicianship remains exceptional throughout. --Michael Gallant/Keyboard
With the magnificent Requiem, pianist Andrzej Winnicki and saxophonist Krzysztof Medyna solidify and enhance their reputations as the prime promoters of the essential music of the Polish pianist and composer Krzysztof Komeda…The band’s playing, individually and as a group is superb … essential. --Budd Kopman/allaboutjazz.com
Pianist Andrzej Winnicki is the real star here, as are his driving comping, left-hand basslines, and harmonic sense, which color the compositions in shades of fiery red, dark blue, and deep purple. You hear some outstanding music of Komeda's, but there are several standout originals written by Winnicki. --Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide
A major aspect of Komeda’s genius was his touchingly delicate phrasing and Winnicki does an admirable job of highlighting this on reinterpretations of “Svantetic” from Astigmatic and CD closer “Sleep Safe and Warm” from Rosemary’s Baby. --Elliott Simon/AllAboutJazz-New York
These pieces were tailor-made for jazz interpretation outside the cinema. The title cut takes full advantage of pianist Andrzej Winnicki’s assertive approach... --C. Michael Bailey/allaboutjazz.com
Tracks: Night-time, Daytime Requiem Part1; Night-time, Daytime Requiem Part2; Night-time, Daytime Requiem Part3; Ballad for Bernt; Dirge for Europe; Astigmatic; Elutka; Prayer and Question; Litania; Anubis.
Personnel: Russ Johnson: trumpet, flugelhorn; Krzysztof Medyna: saxophones; Andrzej Winnicki: piano; Scott Colley: bass; Nasheet Waits: drums.
Tracks: Crazy Girl; Kattorna; Ballada; Is that your final Answer?; Svantetic Prelude; Svantetic; Tail Peace; Stop Time; Sleep Safe and Warm.
Personnel: Russ Johnson: trumpet, flugelhorn; Krzysztof Medyna: saxophones; Andrzej Winnicki: piano; Michael Bates: bass; Dave Anthony: drums.
In the Bush
Tracks: Happy Song; Breakwater; Blind Warriors; Yellow Weather; Looking Ahead; Elutka; Close to Home; In the Bush; Mad Maid; And We Call It Jazz.
Personnel: Krzysztof Medyna: saxophones; Andrzej Winnicki: keyboards; Mark Egan: el. bass; Holden Nagelberg: el. bass; Rodney Holmes: drums; Dave Anthony: drums, percussion.
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Willing to teach:
Intermediate to advanced students