398

Tomasz Stanko Quartet: Lontano

Budd Kopman By

Sign in to view read count
Tomasz Stanko Quartet: Lontano Can a recording be appreciated or understood without knowing the full history of the performer?

The answer is, of course, yes and no. In this case, yes, the music on Lontano creates a coherent sound world, has an artistic point of view and many levels, and thus is well worth repeated listens. But no, you'll be missing the full impact of the music made by these musicians if you haven't heard the last two albums by this band, Soul Of Things (2001) and Suspended Night (2003), and much more if you haven't heard the music Tomasz Stanko has made over the breadth of his career.

Among Stanko's key releases, of particular interest are Krzysztof Komeda's Astigmatic (1965), the first appearance of "Kattorna"; and his first release for ECM, Balladyna (1976), the source of "Tale." Stanko's six ECM albums recorded during the '90s included the mature masterpieces like Leosia (2000), Litania (1997) and From The Green Hill (2000).

The new millennium brought a new, very young band to the forefront, and Stanko seemingly took a conservative turn. Talking about the three albums with Marcin Wasilweski (piano), Slawomir Kurkiewicz (bass) and Michal Miskiewicz (drums), Stanko said, "Of the three albums recorded with the Polish quartet, this one is definitely the best. I treat them like a triptych. Soul of Things is childish; Suspended Night is mature and stable. Lontano is the quintessence of experience of sorts. It has some free playing, some reflection, and we also played Komeda's 'Kattorna.' Among my records this is the one I listened to the most after recording."

If there was a stylistic break from Green Hill to Soul Of Things, something similar has happened between Suspended Night and Lontano. This record feels like Stanko has come full circle and reintegrated his musical roots, also reflecting the shared influences between his bandmates and him. The new versions of "Kattorna" and "Tale" are no accident, and neither is the fact that the record is dominated by the three parts of the free "Lontano" series.

Stanko thinks the world of Wasilewski, and the pianist's playing is marvelous throughout. He seems to have subsumed some of the mannerisms of Bobo Stenson, who had a telepathic connection with Stanko. The contributions of Kurkiewicz and Miskiewicz are less overt but just as important, since the quartet now acts with one mind.

The music of Lontano is full of intensity and concentration; dark, wide spaces; and, of course, that mournful Stanko trumpet. He still has the knack of creating a line that feels totally logical yet also seems to meander and circle. With Lontano, Stanko has managed to distill forty years of experience, honing and polishing it in order to reach new heights with this quartet.

Note: The Tomasz Stanko Quartet will be touring the US in October.


Track Listing: Lontano, Part I; Cyrhla; Song for Ania; Kattorna; Lontano, Part II; Sweet Thing; Trista; Lontano, Part III; Tale.

Personnel: Tomasz Stanko: trumpet; Marcin Wasilewski: piano; Slawomir Kurkiewicz: bass; Michal Miskiewicz: drums.

Title: Lontano | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: ECM Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Crossing CD/LP/Track Review Crossing
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Unit[e] CD/LP/Track Review Unit[e]
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Such A Sky CD/LP/Track Review Such A Sky
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: June 25, 2017
Read Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31 CD/LP/Track Review Buer: Book Of Angels Volume 31
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 25, 2017
Read BACHanalia CD/LP/Track Review BACHanalia
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 24, 2017
Read Hallways CD/LP/Track Review Hallways
by Paul Rauch
Published: June 24, 2017
Read "Flow" CD/LP/Track Review Flow
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 2, 2016
Read "No Coming, No Going – The Music of Peter Kuhn 1978-1979" CD/LP/Track Review No Coming, No Going – The Music of Peter Kuhn...
by John Sharpe
Published: August 5, 2016
Read "Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5
by Doug Collette
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "Paris" CD/LP/Track Review Paris
by Duncan Heining
Published: November 23, 2016
Read "Sunshine! Quartet" CD/LP/Track Review Sunshine! Quartet
by Glenn Astarita
Published: June 13, 2017
Read "The Roc" CD/LP/Track Review The Roc
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 6, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.