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Tomasz Stańko Quintet - Jazzmessage From Poland & Purple Sun (1972/1973)



Tomasz Stanko - trumpet
Zbigniew Seifert - violin
Janusz Muniak - Flute, tenor & perc.
Bronislaw Suchanek - double bass
Janusz Stefanski - drums, perc.



Hans Hartmann (ab), Janusz Muniak (ss ts fl perc), Zbigniew Seifert (vln as), Tomasz Stanko (tr), Janusz Stefanski (drm perc)

Recorded live: March 9, 1973: Musikhochschule, Munich, Germany

Background: Jazz trumpeter Tomasz Stanko began his tenure as a major force in European free jazz in the early '60s with the formation of the quartet Jazz Darins in 1962 with Adam Makowicz. From 1963 to 1967 he played with Kryzsztof Komeda in a group that revolutionized European jazz and made an impact across the Atlantic as well. Stanko also put in time with Andrzej Trzaskowski in the 'mid 60s before leading his own quintet from 1968 to 1973. The Tomasz Stanko Quintet, which included Muniak and Zbigneiw Seifert, garnered considerable critical acclaim, especially for their tribute to Komeda entitled Music for K. The early '70s brought collaborations with a number of avant-garde and creative jazz artists, including the Globe Unity Orchestra, Michael Urbaniak, Cecil Taylor and Gary Peacock. From 1974 to 1978 Stanko played in a quartet with Edward Vesala, then returned to performing as a leader and soloist. The '80s brought Stanko collaborations with Chico Freeman in Freeman's group Heavy Life, as well as work with James Spaulding, Jack DeJohnette and Rufus Reid. He was also briefly part of Cecil Taylor's big band in 1984. Shortly afterwards he formed another ensemble called Freelectronic. The '90s brought an alliance with ECM, which issued some of Stanko's most acclaimed work, including another lush, gorgeous tribute to Komeda, 1997's Litania, which was heavy with that composer's film work. The follow-up on ECM, 2000's From the Green Hill, drew from many of the same emotional and historic sources as Komeda's work, but this time the compositions were Stanko's. In 2002 Stanko's contributions to European jazz were honored when he was issued the very first European Prize, which was intended to honor outstanding European jazz musicians. During the final round of voting from 21 critics from as many countries, Stanko won 10 votes, narrowly topping the runner-up, Dutch piano player Misha Mengelberg.

Jazz trumpeter and composer, one of Europe's most original jazz musicians. Stanko has been one of the leading artists of the Polish jazz since the early 1960s and has had a major impact on its development and achievement. Stanko's strengths include his distinct tone, mood, Slavic melancholy, as well as the easily recognizable, unique sound.. He has made around forty records and composed music to several dozen films.

Stanko has played concerts almost all over the world, appearing and recording with Cecil Taylor, Jan Garbarek, Peter Warren, Stu Martin, Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Gary Peacock, Dave Holland, Dino Saluzzi, Krzysztof Komeda, Adam Makowicz, Janusz Muniak, Zbigniew Seifert, Michal Urbaniak, Tomasz Szukalski. He has won numerous Polish and international music awards and distinctions and was the first winner of the European Jazz Award in 2003. His artistic career has produced a number of unique creations, drawing the attention of jazz laymen and delighting jazz fans.

Review: Purple Sun is a festive fusion album that works well within the constraints of the idiom and avoids all its pitfalls. Stanko and company liberally mix On the Corner-era Miles Davis with the tonal advancements of the Mahavishnu Orchestra. The addition of well-thought out melodies makes this one of the finer and most tasteful statements in an often-overworked genre. "Boratka/Flute's Ballad" and "Falir" are rooted in the loose meandering of Miles' early '70's work-slinky vamps, riffing rather than walking bass, and lengthy solo segments. Purple Sun is more successful if only because Hartmann is a much more inventive bassist than Michael Henderson. Stanko's playing on these tracks is also very reminiscent of Miles, especially because of the layers of echo added to his tone. The two shorter pieces are actually the more interesting, "My Night My Day" sporting a melody that would make a James Bond soundtrack proud and the title track layering a celebratory unison horn line over funky fast-paced rhythmic accompaniment.

Availability: Stanko, much like Karl Berger, has had a prolific recording career that continues to this day. His work is always of high quality and features great players, including little known Polish musicians. Similarly to Karl Berger's plight, few jazz fans ever move past the glut of American trumpeters and Stanko's standing suffering as a result. Recording for obscure labels until his move to ECM did not help either. While the influences of American fusion are readily apparent on Purple Sun, the album improves upon many ideas (meaning this is not the rehashed jazz-rock of countryman Urbaniak). This album may not surface too often, but is worth searching out for disillusioned fusion fans who should not expect to pay more than $20 for it. A CD reissue is available directly through the Polish Jazz Network at www.stanko.polishjazz.com.

This album is great Fusion, it's in the same vein as Miles Davis's Bitches Brew.

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3 komentarze:

Ankh pisze...

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Anonimowy pisze...

Thank you, this sounds like it'll be really cool =) Thank you!

--JDT

James Manion pisze...
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