All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

228

Tomasz Stanko In Ann Arbor

C. Andrew Hovan By

Sign in to view read count
One of Europe's most renowned individualists, Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko has experienced somewhat of a comeback since releasing his ECM album The Soul Of Things about two years ago. His first US tour in support of the disc brought rave reviews, both in terms of the further solidification of Stanko's unique style and for the discovery of the trumpeter's group of amazing youngsters who played with a fire and cohesion that could rival many a New York rhythm section. Not content to let any grass grow under his feet, Stanko has been busy since the start of 2004, with European tours throughout February, March, and April and the release of his latest ECM effort Suspended Night in May.

Part of an eleven-city US tour in June, Stanko and his quartet made a rare appearance at Ann Arbor's Firefly Club, a well-designed space that makes for intimate listening no matter where you happen to sit. Although it would have been interesting to make a comparison to see how much Stanko's young band had grown since their last time in the States, this reviewer did not take in any shows from the 2002 tour. Nonetheless, one would be hard pressed to find a tighter rhythm section anywhere, regardless of location. Pianist Marcin Wasilewski, bassist Slawomir Kurkiewicz, and drummer Michal Miskiewicz displayed a hook up that at times almost approached telepathy.

Throughout two sets of music, Stanko and his ensemble paced themselves well with a variety of pieces from both The Soul Of Things and Suspended Night. As the group's anchor, pianist Wasilewski is not only a technically gifted artist, but he was particularly adept at telling a story with his solos and contributing to a wide-ranging ebb and flow. At times his lines and harmonies displayed a hard bop mentality akin to McCoy Tyner, but his more abstract statements recalled Cecil Taylor and several pieces found him reaching into the piano to strike the strings with a mallet.

Stanko was a master of moods, opening up several numbers alone before establishing a pulse and making way for the entrance of the trio. In addition to a sharp-edged tone and a fluid mastery of his upper register, Stanko's sound at times reflected the influence of mid '60s Miles. Interestingly enough, many of the trumpeter's pieces seemed to also include melodic fragments that sounded quite familiar, such as a snippet from Nat Adderley's "Never Say Yes" that happened to perk my ears at some point during the second set.

With a more visceral and incendiary spirit than I had anticipated, Stanko and his band mates left a lasting impression with their music and certainly it would be hard to imagine that anyone went away discontented.

Photo Credit
C. Andrew Hovan

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Detroit Jazz Festival 2018 Live Reviews
Detroit Jazz Festival 2018
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner Live Reviews
Beethoven, Barber and Vivaldi at The Jazz Corner
by Martin McFie
Published: September 18, 2018
Read Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia 2018 Live Reviews
Bryan Ferry at the Macedonian Philharmonic Hall, Macedonia...
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: September 16, 2018
Read Live From Birmingham: Dinosaur, Meatraffle, Hollywood Vampires, Black Asteroids & Paul Lamb Live Reviews
Live From Birmingham: Dinosaur, Meatraffle, Hollywood...
by Martin Longley
Published: September 16, 2018
Read Binker & Moses At London's Jazz Cafe Live Reviews
Binker & Moses At London's Jazz Cafe
by Chris May
Published: September 15, 2018
Read 12 Points 2018 Live Reviews
12 Points 2018
by Ian Patterson
Published: September 14, 2018
Read "Hyde Park Jazz Festival 2017" Live Reviews Hyde Park Jazz Festival 2017
by Mark Corroto
Published: October 1, 2017
Read "Geoffrey Keezer at South Jazz Parlor" Live Reviews Geoffrey Keezer at South Jazz Parlor
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: July 11, 2018
Read "CEO Experiment With Kurt Rosenwinkel at The Sugar Club" Live Reviews CEO Experiment With Kurt Rosenwinkel at The Sugar Club
by Ian Patterson
Published: October 11, 2017
Read "Jazzdor Berlin" Live Reviews Jazzdor Berlin
by Henning Bolte
Published: June 29, 2018
Read "Adam Rudolph's Galaxies at The Stone" Live Reviews Adam Rudolph's Galaxies at The Stone
by Tyran Grillo
Published: May 14, 2018
Read ""A Love Supreme" with Ravi Coltrane" Live Reviews "A Love Supreme" with Ravi Coltrane
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: October 6, 2017