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iTunes Editors’ Notes

Played with beauty, restraint, and introspection, Stanko’s Lontano is another step forward for this European vet, whose profile in the States continues to grow. The 64-year-old Polish trumpeter has been playing professionally for more than 40 years with great originality, refinement, and self-assurance, and the younger musicians who fill out his quartet — Marcin Wasilewski on piano, Slawomir Kurkiewicz on bass, and Michel Miskiewicz on drums — accompany him with empathy. The focus here is on establishing mood and atmosphere, at times even calling to mind the impressionism of, say, Debussy. The music also calls to mind late-‘60s Miles Davis, both because of Stanko’s horn sound — fragile yet graceful, serene but searching, simmering gently, but burnished and a bit chilling — and in the modal concept underlying many of the tunes. The three collectively improvised title tracks, which comprise 40 minutes, will amaze listeners who tend to think of free jazz as harsh, dissonant, and aggressive. Stanko originally recorded Krzysztof Komeda’s “Kattorna” with the composer in 1965, and it lightly pulses forward atop a modal, slightly funky piano vamp. The other tracks are meditative ballads, although Stanko is not afraid to unleash a torrent of notes (on “Trista,” for example) should the impulse strike him. The “ECM sound” — tremendous clarity, full of gaping space — truly befits this elegant music.

Customer Reviews

WOW.

See me? I'm wading through the stupid world of cookie cutter jazz, pop, and other such manufactured nonsense that fits into what the marketers think people will pay; but here is music that is honest; at times it takes your breath away. The Lantono series is striking in its ability to present you with something minimal and yet incredibly whole.. haunting beauty, startling honesty, and its quietness says this: "I dare you to sit still and listen to your heart." This music is a gift. It has been a long time that I heard something musical, stopped, and said, "Now that's what I'm talking about!" I feel that this music reflects something that is easy and flowing about eastern europeans: they are honest about their needful side. Thank you Tomasz.

Walking in Mile's dropped shoe

This album is not for everyone. You are unlikely to wake up with a Stanko melody running through your head, nor will you upset the neighbors in the apartment downs tapping your toe to a Stanko ditty. But for a lot of us, Miles Davis -- as early as Sketches of Spain -- opened a door in jazz that let in a whole new and fresh breeze. This quartet sails on that breeze to some places that are new yet vaguely familiar. The four share a chord structure and a rhythm to keep things tethered but after that it is a new season. If you are open to that this is a fine place to put your head. For others I am afraid it may be music from the elevator of a modern furniture store.

Elegant and Tasteful, Great Album

Perhaps a bit more substantive review, this album provides the listener a truly classic sound with contemporary quality. This could probably one of the best 2006 albums that you'll download this year. Very insightful and cerebral. Just a quality jazz album that does not suffer from an over-produced feel. Just good players, good charts, and great jams. Quite possibly a classic. Solid jazz presentation.

Lontano, Tomasz Stanko Quartet
View In iTunes
  • $11.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, Avant-Garde Jazz
  • Released: Aug 25, 2006

Customer Ratings