15 December 2007

Enthusiasms (12) - Tomasz Stańko Quartet

The Tomasz Stańko Quartet consists of Stańko on trumpet and Marcin Wasilewski (piano), Slawomir Kurkiewicz (double-bass) and Michal Miskiewicz (drums). This is a terrific, subtle group that effortlessly traverses the boundaries between lyricism and dissonance. Stańko is himself now 65 while the remaining members of the quartet easily are young enough to be his sons. Beyond producing wonderful music, they are remarkably prolific, having released three records in the past five years - Lontano (2005), Suspended Night (2003), and Soul of Things (2001) - all on ECM. In addition to the recent Quartet recordings, in 2005 Stańko released Wolność w Sierpniu (Freedom in August), music commissioned for the opening of the Museum of the Warsaw Uprising in 2004 (the 60th anniversay of the uprising). And Wasilewski, Kurkiewicz, and Miskiewicz have released a trio recording of their own, also on ECM. You can find a 2006 interview with Stańko from npr here where he talks about the exigencies of maturing as a jazz musician in Communist Eastern Europe.

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