June 14, 2024


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CD review: Leszek Możdżer – Ikar. Legenda Mietka Kosza 2019: Videos, CD cover

“Icarus. Legend Mietek Kosza ”is a film biography of an outstanding jazz pianist and composer. Mieczysław Kosz (February 10, 1944 – May 31, 1973) was a graduate of the State Music School for the Blind and the Secondary Music School in Krakow (piano class).

Already in high school he became interested in jazz. Initially, he played in the iconic Literacka cafe and the famous club Pod Jaszczurami and as a jazz pianist he made his debut (in the club Helicon) playing the trio with bassist Bogdan Wells and drummer Wiktor Perelmutt. They don’t take up the jazz challenge, he went to Zakopane, where in 1965-67 he played mainly in entertainment venues. Later he moved to Warsaw and played with his trio or solo at the Nowy Świat Cafe. In 1967, he recorded the first sessions for Polish Radio and was invited to participate at the Jazz Jamboree festival in the concert “New Faces in Polish Jazz”. At Jazz Jamboree he performed systematically in later years playing solo or in occasional compositions: in a trio with Janusz Kozłowski, Sergiusz Perkowski (1968), with Bronisław Suchanek and Czesław Bartkowski (1970), and in a duet with Marianna Wróblewska (1971). He also did not avoid other festivals playing at the Jazz All Souls’ Festival in Krakow and at the Jazz on the Oder Festival in Wrocław or abroad, where he was awarded many times. He made joint recordings with the bands of Jan Ptaszyn Wróblewski, Remigiusz Filipowicz and in a duet with Marianna Wróblewska. He improvised not only on jazz themes but also took classical and popular music to the workshop. He was heavily influenced by Bill Evans’ pianism in his compositions. Mieczysław Kosz was a master of jazz improvisations. Although he left behind only a few records, he became a legend for jazz fans. He was admired by the greatest musicians and the audience.

The film “Icarus. The legend of Mietek Kosz “by Maciej Pieprzyca is not only a story about musical genius. It is primarily a story about the fight against internal demons, loneliness and the search for acceptance and love. The role of Mieczysław Kosz was wonderfully presented by Dawid Ogrodnik, who emphasizes “… that on the set he was extremely satisfied with playing the piano and the opportunity to improvise. I play Mieczysław Kosz, a jazz pianist who at the age of 12 lost his sight. This character fascinated me enormously. Archival materials also helped me a lot, but most of all people who knew him and shared their memories with me. ”

Painting “Icarus. Legend Mietek Kosza ”directed by Maciej Pieprzyca is not only a fictionalized biography of the iconic jazzman, but also a large set of excellent music prepared by Leszek Możdżer. Leszek Możdżer, not only took care of the great musical mood of the film, but created and prepared the so-called the music track of the film, which consists of both composed illustrative music and arrangements of well-known and popular songs (“Take the A Train”, “San Francisco”, “Chestnuts”, “All you are in larks”).

“The original assumption was to reproduce the style of the Basket as faithfully as possible – recalls work on film and music Leszek Możdżer – But it quickly came to me that it does not make sense. The one-to-one method of playing would make sense with a documentary film, but it turned out to be ineffective for a feature film. In the context of the language of modern cinema, however, this music is too archaic, today cinema uses the contemporary musical language. So I decided that I needed to find a compromise between the old language of jazz and the new language of film music. Fortunately, I have experience with both. Some fictitious, though authentic, pianism was created to imitate Mietek Kosz. An additional difficulty was that I had to record all my performances on cams, because Dawid Ogrodnik had to learn something. It was necessary to record all forms in full so as not to lose the smoothness of body movement. It was demanding in terms of concentration, because I could only use songs performed flawlessly from beginning to end. The mental effort during such recordings is incomparably greater than for recordings in which I can shape and correct selected phrases on my computer … I was delighted. Although I must admit that I have always felt that there is something disturbing and maybe even repulsive in this music. It was only during the filming that I realized where the despair coming from his music comes from. Playing for him was a fight for survival, a fight for survival. The basket felt rejected because of his disability. In his compositions, in his way of playing, the whole drama of this struggle is heard for the sense of his own existence. It feels very strong. Mentally, I had to impose a special rigor, denying my fears that their performance exceeds my capabilities … The most difficult in creative work is the contact between imagination and the implementation of what is imagined. It is associated with almost physical pain in all layers of consciousness.


01. Gra w Kolory
02. Ikar Dwójka
03. Argentea
04. Wena
05. Cała jesteś w Skowronkach
06. Zuzanna i Emilian
07. Druga Gra w Kolory
08. Ikaer
09. Kasztany
10. Łąka
11. Kołysanka (parafraza)
12. Ikar i Temat Pierwszy
13. Meeting Evans
14. Etiuda Rewolucyjna Op.10 Nr 12
15. Ikar Napisy v1
16. Złudzenie
17. Rosemary’s Baby Main Title
18. Bogdan, Zuzanna i Mietek
19. Rosemary’s Baby Main Title II
20. Miałam Taki Sen
21. Aere
22. Vikarma
23. Tańce Połowieckie (parafraza)
24. Przed Burzą
25. Origo
26. Ikar i Autokar
27. Trzecia Gra w Kolory
28. Ikar Post Scriptum

Piano – Leszek Możdżer
Bass – Grzegorz Piasecki (23,24), Wojciech Bergander (9,17)
Celesta – Łukasz Wójcik (3,12,15,21,28)
Drums – Sebastian Skrzypek (17,23)
Guitar – Krzysztof Pełech (3,8,9,12,13,15,21,25,27)
Mandolin – Dominik Bieńczycki (3,9,12,25,27)
Orchestra – Sinfonia Varsovia (3,6,7,8,9,12,13,15,18,22,25,26,27,28)
Orchestra, Conductor – Marek Moś (3,6,7,8,9,12,13,15,18,22,25,26,27,28)

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