TO­MASZ STANKO QUIN­TET Dark Eyes (ECM)

Pasatiempo - - Music -

Pol­ish trum­peter To­masz Stanko’s new quin­tet fea­tures pi­anist Alexi Tuo­mar­ila and drum­mer Olavi Louhivuori, both from Fin­land, and Dan­ish bassist An­ders Chris­tensen. The al­bum opens with the peace­ful “So Nice,” and then ex­pands into the looser, more dra­matic “Ter­mi­nal 7.” Tuo­mar­ila lays down a puls­ing foun­da­tion for Stanko’s ethe­real, Miles-ish probes, and then the group’s fifth mem­ber, Dan­ish gui­tarist Jakob Bro, en­ters — a wel­come new voice for a Stanko en­sem­ble. “The Dark Eyes of Martha Hirsch,” named af­ter a paint­ing by Oskar Kokoschka, starts with a wash of brushed cym­bals and elec­tric-bass sus­tain; then Stanko and Tuo­mar­ila rise in uni­son. Slow and im­pres­sion­is­tic, the mu­sic al­most stops at one point dur­ing a bass solo, but Chris­tensen ac­cel­er­ates the tempo, shift­ing the vibe. Stanko is in a bouncy mood but also works in a few wild, shreddy cries on the trum­pet. The leader, who will be 68 on July 11, evolved his mu­sic when Poland was in the grip of Soviet com­mu­nism. In a 2005 in­ter­view with Pasatiempo, the trum­peter spoke of that dark­ness and said that his mu­sic was “go­ing from an­ar­chy, from avant-garde to quiet, sim­ple.” On Dark Eyes, he demon­strates a com­plete per­spec­tive, em­brac­ing shadow and de­light, ab­strac­tion and the melodic, del­i­cacy and brash­ness on eight orig­i­nals and two pieces by Krzysztof Komeda. This is Euro­pean jazz at its best. — Paul Wei­de­man

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