Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Tomasz Stanko Quintet - Purple Sun (1973)

My Stańko disease worsens and though pile of new recordings rises I am stuck to Polish Mag. Today it will be very short here because music is so good that it is not time to waste on spilling out words. I simply regard Stańko's album titled Purple Sun as one of my most favorite if not the most favorite of him. Why?

After the death of Krzysztof Komeda, Polish jazz pianist and composer who Stańko acknowledged as not only his friend but also mentor, he decided to establish his own band in quintet format. With this group he recorded his first album as leader titled Music For K (read K-omeda) being simultaneously the homage to his friend who departed so prematurely and tragically but which also was total breakdown with his style. Since Komeda was cool jazz cat while Stańko started to played free, very much in Ornette Coleman style but yet in somehow different, unique and his own manner.

During those 3 years that lied between those two recordings Stańko's band made incredible progress and I cannot imagine better way to experience this change than listen one of these albums after another. Although music is still free and there is plenty of collective improvisation yet the quintet phrasing gained space, depth and thoughtfulness of the best and most classy liquors. We have here, perhaps for the first time, what was to become Stańko's landmark: bluesy, brooding sound coupled with infinitely refined chiseling of space and silence.

After saying so many warm words about Tomasz let me now turn spotlight to Zbigniew Seifert. Although he was classically trained violinist he begun to play jazz using alto saxophone which was result of his fascination with John Coltrane. With this record however he decided to go back to violin, often electrically transofrmed and treated as saxophone in Trane's manner. It gave the music on this album the unique fusion blend so similar to Miles Davis recording of that time like Bitches Brew for example. Honestly speaking one is in confusion as to determine who is making bigger impression here: Stańko is no question magnificent but Seifert is no less stunning! It especially refers to the only non-Stańko composition titled My Night My day penned by Seifert which is another clear reference to majestic Komeda's Nightime Daytime Requiem. This composition is simply breathtaking and is also executed in perfect manner. Sadly only few years since that recording Seifert was to follow tragically in Komeda footsteps...  

Author of text: Maciej Nowotny

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