192

Tomasz Stanko: Suspended Night

Jeff Stockton By

Sign in to view read count
Tomasz Stanko: Suspended Night If you’re reading this review, there’s little doubt that you consider yourself a jazz fan. And as such, you’ve probably heard a person say to you with all conviction: “I don’t like jazz.” Miles in the ‘50s? Coltrane on Atlantic? What’s not to like? But when I hear this, I usually just let it go, frustrated by past attempts at persuasion, overwhelmed by my own disbelief. Now when this situation arises, however, I can hand them Suspended Night, jazz of delicacy, classical European beauty, sadness and hope.

Ten years ago Stanko, the 50 year old Polish veteran, began playing with a teenage rhythm section, scoring films and performing live fairly close to home. For this, the quartet’s second release for ECM, his band proves to be an ensemble of tight musicianship and sympathetic interaction. The opening piece, “Song for Sarah,” begins with pianist Marcin Wasilewski’s profound lyricism in deft, colorful strokes. Even if you’ve never heard Stanko play a note, you’re immediately drawn in by the cautious tempo and undercurrent of longing. When he does enter, the piano is in perfect complement to Stanko’s slightly roughened tone, honed by years of work and experience. Over and over on this recording the connection between trumpeter and pianist is palpable.

The rest of the CD is made up of ten “Suspended Variations” that integrate bassist Slawomir Kurkiewicz, who offers resonant pizzicato playing, and drummer Michal Miskiewicz, who contributes subtle percussive accents and shimmers. As one comes to expect, Wasilewski carries the tunes forward with modal vamps and poetic improvisation, Stanko gliding above with tense restraint.

Listening to the Tomasz Stanko Quartet puts you in another place, where the overcoats are heavy and the wine is homemade. Where people do most of their living indoors, informed by a past when life had to be directed inward, away from disapproving eyes. It’s this existential intimacy that has formed Stanko’s melodic grace and soulful tranquility. In the end, Stanko endures, and his band play with the fire of those participating in an ongoing discovery, using the vocabulary of jazz. How can you not be a fan of that?

Visit ECM Records on the web.

Track Listing: Song for Sarah; Suspended Variations I-X.

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

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: ECM Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


comments powered by Disqus

Shop

More Articles

Read Neko CD/LP/Track Review Neko
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 25, 2017
Read Alcanza CD/LP/Track Review Alcanza
by Troy Dostert
Published: May 25, 2017
Read New Life CD/LP/Track Review New Life
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 25, 2017
Read A Social Call CD/LP/Track Review A Social Call
by James Nadal
Published: May 25, 2017
Read The Big Wig CD/LP/Track Review The Big Wig
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 24, 2017
Read The Dreamer Is the Dream CD/LP/Track Review The Dreamer Is the Dream
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 24, 2017
Read "I Walk Amongst Humans" CD/LP/Track Review I Walk Amongst Humans
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: August 3, 2016
Read "Binary & Mysteries of the Deep" CD/LP/Track Review Binary & Mysteries of the Deep
by Troy Dostert
Published: October 20, 2016
Read "PausaLive" CD/LP/Track Review PausaLive
by Patrick Keyes
Published: April 27, 2017
Read "Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny" CD/LP/Track Review Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 5, 2016
Read "Early Americans" CD/LP/Track Review Early Americans
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: May 30, 2016
Read "Cultural Capital" CD/LP/Track Review Cultural Capital
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 4, 2017

Why wait?

Support All About Jazz and we'll deliver exclusive content, hide ads, hide slide-outs, and provide read access to our future articles.

Buy it!