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Tomasz Stanko New York Quartet: Wislawa (ECM)

Dec. 23, 2013
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 Tomasz Stanko is probably our greatest living lyrical jazz trumpeter, his style inspired by Miles Davis. Yet the Polish master speaks in his own almost uncannily disarming language. His sensibility—beautifully brooding, sly, witty—emits notes like snaking smoke. As they unfurl and ooze, the articulated effect is concentrated, like poetry. Stanko uses silence as an artist uses negative space. On “April Story,” one solo has a pause of about 11 seconds…the effect spurs one’s imagination in the aura of the emotional moment.

Throughout this spacious two-CD set, Stanko’s trio of attuned New York musicians shines, especially pianist David Virelles’ pungent, textural harmonic voicings and attack. The tunes, inspired by poetry of Nobel laureate Wislawa Szymborska, are all originals, yet one, “Metafizyka,” echoes the limpid ballad “A Child is Born” by Thad Jones.



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