Astigmatic is a studio album by Polish jazz pianist and composer Krzysztof Komeda.
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.
Richard Cook and Brian Morton name it as “one of the finest jazz albums ever made in Europe” and include it among the 1001 best jazz records in their book The Penguin Jazz Guide. Critic Stuart Nicholson wrote that it “has become a bellwether for European jazz, with critics pointing to how this album marked a shift away from the dominant American approach with the emergence of a specific European aesthetic”. Manfred Eicher, the founder of ECM Records, described it as a milestone in the history of jazz (Wikipedia).
Gunter Lenz – bass
Rune Carlsson – drums
Krzysztof Komeda – piano
Zbigniew Namysłowski – alto saxophone
Tomasz Stanko – trumpet
Artist: Komeda Quintet
Label: Polskie Nagrania Muza – XL 0298 (Polish Jazz – Vol. 5)