European jazz musicians tend to have an affinity for jazz that is free and very melodic. The pianist, bassist, and drummer from Tomasz Stanko's working quartet debut with Trio, consisting of five free improvisations and eight composed tunes, walking the line between free and mainstream jazz. It's perfect for listening when one is in a contemplative mood. The songs are characterized by simple melodies in which silence is employed practically as a fourth member of the trio.
The free pieces breathe a quiet fire similar to the less-is-more impressionistic stylings of fellow ECM-er Bobo Stenson and the off-the-cusp ruminations of the Keith Jarrett Trio. Wayne Shorter's rarely-played "Plaza Real," written during his days with Weather Report, is reconfigured by pianist Marcin Wasilewski, bassist Slawomir Kurkiewicz, and drummer Michal Miskiewicz into an almost unrecognizable tune by stripping it bare. Icelandic pop singer Björk's songs are being covered by an increasing number of jazz musicians, and the trio's version of "Hyperballad" is pensive and cool, drawing out the song's airy effect.
Wasilewski is the group's major writer. His free bop is like a controlled explosion as the drummer drops little bombs that the pianist and bassist dance around. Some albums tend to sneak up, requiring repeated listenings. With each spin the fragile, delicate, shimmering beauty of Trio continually reveals itself.
I love jazz because it swings.
I was first exposed to jazz in Houston.
I met Joe LoCascio and Bob Henschen.
The best show I ever attended was Pat Martino.
The first jazz record I bought was Time Out by the Dave Brubeck Quartet.
My advice to new listeners is to relax on 2 and 4 beats.