Sunday, November 20, 2011

Tomasz Stanko – Wolnosc w sierpniu (MVD Visual, 2006)

Tomasz Stańko - trumpet, composer
Marcin Wasilewski - piano
Janusz Skowron - synthesizer
Sławomir Kurkiewicz - double-bass
Michal Miśkiewicz - drums
Antymos Apostolis - percussion
Tomasz Szukalski - tenor saxophone
Wojciech Karolak - orchestral arrangements
String Section of Polish Radio Orchestra under the direction of Marcin Nałęcz Niesiolowski
Wolnosc w sierpniu (MVD Visual, 2006)

This magnificent album by Polish trumpeter / composer Tomasz Stanko includes the music commissioned by the Warsaw Rising Museum, which accompanies the permanent exhibition. The heroic and tragic struggle to free the Polish Capital from the Nazi occupation in August of 1944 is to this very day a pivotal episode of modern Polish history, in many respects unresolved (morally and politically) to this very day. The bold decision to bestow the task of composing the music played at the museum upon Poland's most distinguished Jazz composer is surely unusual and highly commendable. Stanko, of course, had little trouble to produce a masterpiece, which consists of a six-piece suite for Jazz combo and string orchestra. The participants are all Polish Jazz heroes, starting with the members of Stanko's regular quartet at the time: pianist Marcin Wasilewski, bassist Slawomir Kurkiewicz and drummer Michal Miskiewicz. Additional players include Stanko's veteran partners: keyboardist Janusz Skowron, saxophonist Tomasz Szukalski and guitarist Antymos Apostolis (who plays only percussion here). Another old friend, keyboardist Wojciech Karolak, is responsible for the string orchestra arrangements, played by the Polish Radio String Orchestra. The music, as always with Stanko, is absolutely breathtaking, from start to finish, performed brilliantly by all the musicians involved. Stanko's trumpet, with its distinctive and unique sound, soars vigorously and caresses gently, both with the same magic quality only he seems to be able to produce. Overall, this is definitely one of the finest Stanko's later period albums and an essential peace of European Jazz. An absolute must!

Side Note: It's a great pity that this album as now out of print and absolutely impossible to find. A repress is desperately in order!

(Editor) Pieśń Kanałów (Song Of The Sewers):

Author: Adam Baruch

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