Starting at the beginning of this year, Krzysztof Medyna and Andrzej Winnicki (Komeda Project alumni), set out to put a new and entirely different project together. So, the WM Project was born. In March they got a bunch of amazing New York City musicians together to record a new CD.
Here's the line-up: Jeremy Pelt on trumpet (five-time DownBeat & Jazz Journalists Association Rising Star Award winner), Marshall Gilkes on trombone (awarded a title of a Rising Star in the latest DownBeat Magazine critics poll and a double 2016 Grammy nominee), Krzysztof Medyna (Komeda Project alumnus) on tenor sax, Rafal Sarnecki on guitar, Andrzej Winnicki (Komeda Project alumnus) on piano, Jeff Dingler on bass and Michael Winnicki on drums.
The title of the CD is From a Familiar Place. It contains two widely known standards: Mercy, Mercy Mercy by Joe Zawinul and Take Five by Paul Desmond (of Dave Brubeck Quartet fame) as well as 7 originals.
While WM Project is a brand-new constellation, the musical masterminds behind it, pianist Andrzej Winnicki and tenor saxophonist Krzysztof Medyna, go back a long way. In the 90's, they have played together in the fusion group Electric Breakwater (In the Bush CD with Mark Egan on bass and Rodney Holmes on drums), and have furthered appreciation of Polish composer and pianist Krzysztof Komeda through their widely acclaimed Komeda Project
The band name WM Project nods to the first letter in the surnames of pianist Andrzej Winnicki and tenor saxophonist Krzysztof Medyna, who are longtime collaborators. They performed together in Europe in the 1980s before relocating to the United States, and in the 1990s, they were members of the band Electric Breakwater. Also, they were both in the band the Komeda Project, which was dedicated to the music of Polish composer Krzysztof Komeda and recorded a few albums, including 2009’s Requiem. For their new band’s debut, the pianist and saxophonist have assembled a terrific lineup: trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, trombonist Marshall Gilkes, guitarist Rafal Sarnecki, bassist Jeff Dingler and drummer Michael Winnicki, who is Andrzej’s son