Thursday, December 29, 2011

Tomasz Stanko – Chameleon (1989) by Adam Baruch

Tomasz Stanko - trumpet

Apostolis Anthimos - guitar, bass guitar, drums, percussion, sampler
Janusz Skowron - piano, synthesizer, sampler

Chameleon (1989)

This album's title is perhaps the most concise and precise description of its contents. With the 1970s behind him Polish trumpeter / composer Tomasz Stanko takes a sharp turn off the path he followed previously as the leader of the local Free Jazz / avant-garde scene and as other musicians before him (or like a chameleon) entered the world of Jazz-Rock Fusion.

The album was recorded in Athens in 1982 and remained unreleased until 1989 (by that time Stanko was already moving to the next phase of his career), when it was finally released by a small independent Greek label. But chronologically this is the first recording of Stanko's 1980s "new" style, preceding "C.O.C.X.".
The setting is a trio with guitarist Apostolis Anthimos (of SBB fame), who also plays bass, drums and percussion and young keyboardist Janusz Skowron, who uses the electronic devices to create beautiful sound vistas.

The music is (as always with Stanko) absolutely stunning and quite different from his earlier works. Here we can hear the "easier" or happier side of Stanko, with almost cheerful melody lines and relatively simple rhythmic approach. Let's make no mistake however; this is still Stanko at his best, with his unmistakable personal way of making music, virtuosic blowing and genius musical concept, all this in a slightly more accessible wrap up.

Of the eleven tracks on the album seven were composed by Stanko and four are credited to the trio, as much of the music was actually created on the fly in the studio. In retrospect this is definitely one of the most memorable Stanko albums and an absolute must to all his numerous fans. Just grab it!

Author: Adam Baruch
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