Crossing the Curtain

Polish Jazz Meets Poetry In the Europäische Heimat

This article focuses on a little-known collaboration of West German producer Joachim E. Berendt with Polish composer and pianist Krzysztof Komeda that resulted in a 1967 album entitled Meine süsse europäische Heimat: Dichtung und Jazz aus Polen. Released as part of Berendt's series 'Jazz und Lyrik', this extended musico-poetic work of Komeda attempted to cross the Iron Curtain and deliver a sombre commentary on Poland's political situation. The article offers the first source-based analysis of Komeda's project, including its transnational 'message' and musical style. I discuss the nationalistic aspects of the work, coded in the strongly political texts by Poland's well-known poets, and analyse select tracks that articulate the conceptual realm of the 'European Country' encapsulated in the work's title. I demonstrate that Komeda's work succeeds as a transnational statement mainly because its message was embedded in an advanced musical language that fused the African-American impulse with European sensibilities.

Journal Jazz Research Journal
Year 2012
Volume 6
Issue 2
Pages 201-227

Granat, Zbigniew (2012) Crossing the Curtain: Polish Jazz Meets Poetry In the Europäische Heimat. In: Jazz Research Journal, Vol. 6, No. 2, pp. 201-227. Available at


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