Soul of Things

Soul of Things

by Tomasz Stanko Quartet


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Soul of Things

Tomasz Stanko is one of the most sensitive and lyrical of jazz balladeers. He is also a master of the trumpet, capable of drawing sounds from the instrument that seem to redefine its fundamental qualities. Like another great brass lyricist before him -- the protean and ever-fascinating Miles Davis -- Stanko feels most comfortable in the horn’s dusky middle and low range, where it enters the musical terrain of its first cousin, the flugelhorn. Stanko is also, like Miles, a master at creating and distorting his tone on the instrument, from pinched, aching high notes to thick, gluey lows that seem to smear from note to note. And even at 60, he can open up when he wants to -- complete with lip trills, slides up and down the register, and driving, emphatic swing punctuation. On “Soul of Things” the Polish trumpeter is joined by a rhythm section consisting of three young compatriots. Marcin Wasilewski’s plangent tone and deft lyricism on the piano recalls Keith Jarrett at his most introspective, and Slawomir Kurkiewicz expertly places gentle throbs of bass into Michal Miskiewicz’s masterly brush and cymbal work. The album has no songs, per se" Its 75 minutes are divided into 13 “variations” that range from the fairly straightforward swing melody of Variation 10 to the gorgeous atmospheric melancholy of Variation 1. Variation 3 is showy, with incendiary swing passages and virtuoso runs and slides. Variation 5 is gentle and lovely, releasing its opening mood of sadness to turn sunny and bright-eyed. In Variation 11, Stanko runs up and down the stave as if searching impatiently for a way to speak his soul, finally letting out a long, tortured sob that seems to halt time. Seldom has a note on a trumpet expressed so much of the heart and genius of the man playing it.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/26/2002
Label: Ecm Records
UPC: 0044001637421
catalogNumber: 016374

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Soul of Things 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Roweking More than 1 year ago
Has Miles returned? Maybe in the body of this Polish Trumpeter. Wow. Very Soulful. But maybe not original.