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Tomasz Stańko

Tomasz Stanko was 20 and a graduate of the Cracow Music Academy when he formed his first band, the Jazz Darings, with pianist Adam Makowicz in 1962. Inspired by early Ornette Coleman and the innovations of Coltrane, Miles Davis and George Russell, the group is often cited by music historians as the first European group to play free jazz, but for the trumpeter its importance was eclipsed by the invitation to join Krzystof Komeda's quintet the following year. Stanko has acknowledged that much of his subsequent musical direction and his own compositional style was influenced by Komeda. The lyricism, the feeling of playing only the essential, the approach to structure, to asymmetry, many harmonic details. Stanko toured for five years with Komeda, appeared on 11 albums with him, and also made contributions to all of the films scores that Komeda realized in Poland.

In 1970, Stanko joined Alex Schlippenbachi's Globe Unity Orchestra, which brought him into contact with all the key figures of the European jazz avant-garde, and also formed a quintet, with violinist Zbiegniew Seifert. The following year he collaborated with Krysztof Penderecki and Don Cherry. His most important work of the 1970s, however, may have been with Finnish drummer Edward Vesala. Their series of quartet albums, of which Balladyna was the first, set some new directions with explorations of the free ballad, graced by soulful, grainy trumpet, and Stanko also made important contributions to Vesalai's Together album, a massed gathering of Nordic/Baltic improvisers.

During the 1980s Stanko explored many approaches to improvisation. He travelled with Vesala to India and recorded trumpet solos in the Taj Mahal; again with Vesala, he hooked up with Chico Freeman and Howard Johnson in New York. He worked extensively with Cecil Taylor in large ensemble contexts, and led a number of groups of his own, such as COCX, which deployed post-Bitches Brew rock-rhythms, and Freelectronic, an ahead-of-its-time exploration of electro-acoustic options. Bluish, a trio recording with Arild Andersen and Jon Christensen preceded a return to ECM.

Since resuming his association with ECM with Matka Joanna in 1994 (his first album as a leader for the label in 20 years), Stanko has reached a new audience with his work. Two recordings with his international quartet with Bobo Stenson, Anders Jormin, and Tony Oxley, were followed by a highly successful tribute to film music composer and mentor Krzysztof Komeda in 1997. Stanko's Litania project became a popular fixture on the international festival circuit. In 1998, producer Manfred Eicher assembled a trans-idiomatic band around the trumpeter for From The Green Hill, a recording which pooled the talents of Dino Saluzzi, John Surman, Michelle Makarski, Anders Jormin and Jon Christensen. The Green Hill album won the coveted German Critics Prize (Deutscher Schallplattenpreis) as Album of the Year in 2000.

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8
Album Review

Tomasz Stanko Quartet: September Night

Read "September Night" reviewed by Chris May


How sorely Tomasz Stańko is missed. When he passed in 2018, his career had spanned practically the entire lifetime of homegrown Polish jazz, kicking off approximately with the Dave Brubeck Quartet's seminal tour of Poland in 1958, three years after the ban on jazz had been lifted by the country's ruling Communist Party. For Stańko, aged 16, Brubeck's tour was a Damascene moment, as it was for a whole generation of Polish musicians. Stanko was still resident in Poland when ...

11
Album Review

Tomasz Stańko: September Night

Read "September Night" reviewed by Mike Jurkovic


Once one finds oneself sucked into the fervent undertow piloting the live, previously unreleased September Night it is too late: The boat has left shore. Beginning with bassist Slawomir Kurkiewicz's full throated rumble, “Hermento's Mood" spins off into fable somewhere around the one minute forty mark, when pianist Marcin Wasilewski begins his warm, welcoming symmetries and the band gathers steam.. Polish trumpeter/composer Tomasz Stańko (1942-2018) was a poet on his golden instrument. Metaphoric but never academic, ...

20
Album Review

Francois Carrier Ensemble featuring Mat Maneri /Tomasz Stańko / Gary Peacock / Michel Lambert: Openness

Read "Openness" reviewed by Mark Corroto


Openness waited nearly two decades on a shelf (ok, probably on a hard drive) before being released for our listening pleasure. Recorded on May 5 & 6, 2006 at the Théâtre La Chapelle in Montréal, Canada, these three precious discs document a meeting between Canadian saxophonist François Carrier and Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stańko. It is the Polish label Fundacja Sluchaj to thank for this release and the prior disc Unwalled (2022), with Carrier being joined by Alexander von Schlippenbach, John ...

5
Book Review

Desperado: An Autobiography

Read "Desperado: An Autobiography" reviewed by Andrew Hunter


Desperado: an Autobiography Tomasz Stanko 345 Pages ISBN: # 978 1 80050 222 2 Equinox Publishing Ltd2010 Tomasz Stanko; let us begin at the end. When Stanko died of lung cancer in 2018 aged 76, he left behind him a discography of forty records as a leader as well as numerous others as a sideman. He was a recording artist of international significance with an established position on the roster of ECM Records, ...

14
Book Review

Tomasz Stańko: Desperado, An Autobiography

Read "Tomasz Stańko: Desperado, An Autobiography" reviewed by Ian Patterson


Tomasz Stańko: Desperado, An Autobiography Tomas Stańko with Rafał Księżyk 358 Pages ISBN-13 978 180050 2222 Equinox Publishing 2022 Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stańko packed a lot into his 76 years before succumbing to lung cancer in 2018. A lot of music, most of it of lasting value, and a lot of living. In fact, given his numerous substance addictions, it is a wonder that he was quite so prolific, and that he lived ...

15
Book Review

The History Of European Jazz: The Music, Musicians And Audience in Context

Read "The History Of European Jazz: The Music, Musicians And Audience in Context" reviewed by Ian Patterson


The History Of European Jazz: The Music, Musicians And Audience In Context Various authors/Edited by Francesco Martinelli 741 Pages ISBN: 13 978 1 78179 446 3 Equinox Publishing 2018 It's taken some time, about a century in fact, but finally, thanks chiefly to editor and jazz historian Francesco Martinelli of Siena Jazz, the first comprehensive, pan-European history of jazz sees the light of day. And what stories they are too -complex, colorful ...

30
Album Review

Tomasz Stańko New York Quartet: December Avenue

Read "December Avenue" reviewed by Karl Ackermann


The elder statesman of modern Polish jazz, trumpeter and composer Tomasz Stańko has more than a forty year history with ECM. Dating back to his 1976 label debut, Balladyna, Stańko sounds to have arrived fully-formed, and in the company of Dave Holland and Finnish percussionist Edward Vesala. Stańko's trademark atmospheric and cerebral style is fully intact on December Avenue, his twelth album for Manfred Eicher's label. Stańko's New York Quartet includes ECM artists David Virelles, whose Mbókò ...

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1

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Tomasz Stanko

Jazz Musician of the Day: Tomasz Stanko

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Tomasz Stanko's birthday today!

Tomasz Stanko was 20 and a graduate of the Cracow Music Academy when he formed his first band, the Jazz Darings, with pianist Adam Makowicz in 1962. Inspired by early Ornette Coleman and the innovations of Coltrane, Miles Davis and George Russell, the group is often cited by music historians as the first European group to play free jazz, but for the trumpeter its importance was eclipsed by the invitation to ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Tomasz Stanko

Jazz Musician of the Day: Tomasz Stanko

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Tomasz Stanko's birthday today!

Tomasz Stanko was 20 and a graduate of the Cracow Music Academy when he formed his first band, the Jazz Darings, with pianist Adam Makowicz in 1962. Inspired by early Ornette Coleman and the innovations of Coltrane, Miles Davis and George Russell, the group is often cited by music historians as the first European group to play free jazz, but for the trumpeter its importance was eclipsed by the invitation to ...

1

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Tomasz Stanko

Jazz Musician of the Day: Tomasz Stanko

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Tomasz Stanko's birthday today!

Tomasz Stanko was 20 and a graduate of the Cracow Music Academy when he formed his first band, the Jazz Darings, with pianist Adam Makowicz in 1962. Inspired by early Ornette Coleman and the innovations of Coltrane, Miles Davis and George Russell, the group is often cited by music historians as the first European group to play free jazz, but for the trumpeter its importance was eclipsed by the invitation to ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Tomasz Stanko

Jazz Musician of the Day: Tomasz Stanko

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Tomasz Stanko's birthday today!

Tomasz Stanko was 20 and a graduate of the Cracow Music Academy when he formed his first band, the Jazz Darings, with pianist Adam Makowicz in 1962. Inspired by early Ornette Coleman and the innovations of Coltrane, Miles Davis and George Russell, the group is often cited by music historians as the first European group to play free jazz, but for the trumpeter its importance was eclipsed by the invitation to ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Tomasz Stanko

Jazz Musician of the Day: Tomasz Stanko

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Tomasz Stanko's birthday today!

Tomasz Stanko was 20 and a graduate of the Cracow Music Academy when he formed his first band, the Jazz Darings, with pianist Adam Makowicz in 1962. Inspired by early Ornette Coleman and the innovations of Coltrane, Miles Davis and George Russell, the group is often cited by music historians as the first European group to play free jazz... Read more.

Place our Musician of the Day widget on your website ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Tomasz Stanko

Jazz Musician of the Day: Tomasz Stanko

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Tomasz Stanko's birthday today!

Tomasz Stanko was 20 and a graduate of the Cracow Music Academy when he formed his first band, the Jazz Darings, with pianist Adam Makowicz in 1962. Inspired by early Ornette Coleman and the innovations of Coltrane, Miles Davis and George Russell, the group is often cited by music historians as the first European group to play free jazz... Read more.

Place our Musician of the Day widget on your website ...

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Tomasz Stanko

Jazz Musician of the Day: Tomasz Stanko

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Tomasz Stanko's birthday today!

Tomasz Stanko was 20 and a graduate of the Cracow Music Academy when he formed his first band, the Jazz Darings, with pianist Adam Makowicz in 1962. Inspired by early Ornette Coleman and the innovations of Coltrane, Miles Davis and George Russell, the group is often cited by music historians as the first European group to play free jazz... Read more.

Place our Musician of the Day widget on your website ...

1

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Tomasz Stanko

Jazz Musician of the Day: Tomasz Stanko

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Tomasz Stanko's birthday today!

Tomasz Stanko was 20 and a graduate of the Cracow Music Academy when he formed his first band, the Jazz Darings, with pianist Adam Makowicz in 1962. Inspired by early Ornette Coleman and the innovations of Coltrane, Miles Davis and George Russell, the group is often cited by music historians as the first European group to play free jazz... Read more.

Place our Musician of the Day widget on your website ...

2

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Tomasz Stanko

Jazz Musician of the Day: Tomasz Stanko

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Tomasz Stanko's birthday today! Tomasz Stanko was 20 and a graduate of the Cracow Music Academy when he formed his first band, the Jazz Darings, with pianist Adam Makowicz in 1962. Inspired by early Ornette Coleman and the innovations of Coltrane, Miles Davis and George Russell, the group is often cited by music historians as the first European group to play free jazz... Read more. Place our Musician of the Day widget on your website ...

1

Birthday

Jazz Musician of the Day: Tomasz Stanko

Jazz Musician of the Day: Tomasz Stanko

Source: Michael Ricci

All About Jazz is celebrating Tomasz Stanko's birthday today! Tomasz Stanko was 20 and a graduate of the Cracow Music Academy when he formed his first band, the Jazz Darings, with pianist Adam Makowicz in 1962. Inspired by early Ornette Coleman and the innovations of Coltrane, Miles Davis and George Russell, the group is often cited by music historians as the first European group to play free jazz... Read more. Place our Musician of the Day widget on your website ...

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Recordings: As Leader | As Sideperson

September Night

ECM Records
2024

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Openness

Fundacja Sluchaj
2023

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December Avenue

ECM Records
2017

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Leosia

ECM Records
2015

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Wislawa

ECM Records
2013

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