Tomasz Stańko Quartet

Flagey, Brussels
16/06/09 - 16/06/09

In 2009, Poland celebrated the 20th anniversary of the fall of Communism and 5 years as a member of the European Union.  
In June 1988, after nine years of struggle by Solidarność and the difficult period of the state of war, the Polish nation began the ‘Round Table Talks’, a series of important debates which culminated in the elections held on 4 June 1989. On that day, the Poles decided that Communism should be confined to the past and chose the path towards freedom, leading to Poland joining the European Union in 2004.

The jazz concert ‘Musique et Liberté’ (‘Music and Freedom’) was addressed, on the anniversary of the first free elections, to all those for whom the notion of freedom and of a united Europe are important. 

Tomasz Stanko
: trumpet
Marcin Wasilewski: piano
Slawomir Kurkiewicz: double bass
Michał Miśkiewicz : drums

In its present line-up, the Tomasz Stanko Quartet made a name for itself across the world in  2002 thanks to the success of its album Soul of things, put out by ECM. The quartet promoted the album by embarking on a big tour of Europe and North America. The group was given a rapturous reception by the media, with some journalists claiming that Tomasz Stanko’s young group was one of the best European jazz groups of its time. In 2002, Tomasz Stanko scooped the ‘Artist of the Year’ prize at  European Jazz Prize.
Suspended Night (ECM, 2004), the group’s second album, continued to tap into the same nostalgia and liberated groove and helped considerably to guarantee the quartet’s continued success all over the world. The press couldn’t get enough of this album (BBC Music Magazine, The Guardian, Jazzwise, Die Zeit, etc), with Billboard Magazine pointing out that European instrumental jazz was responsible for the best sales on the European market. 
In Autumn 2005, the quartet made its third album for ECM. Promoting Lontano included a one-month tour of the USA which ended in four sold-out gigs at the New York Birdland Club. The New York Times had the following to say about Tomasz Stanko: he is ‘trumpetting freedom, in spirit, thought and jazz’. Lontano was ranked sixth in the list of best jazz albums by Down Beat and Jazz Times, and managed fourth place in Jazzwise.
John Bungey, in his review of Lontano in The New York Times, wrote the following:
The ruminative beauty of Stanko’s recent albums has brought the trumpeter a legion of new fans even as he nears pensionable age.
The third record with his young Polish rhythm section moves on from Soul of Things and Suspended Night. Inspired by a recent tour to the Far East, the group plays much more freely. Tunes are stretched and twisted, dissolving and resolving, while comparisons with Miles Davis are still apt in Stanko's sensitivity and use of space. Amid the shimmering cymbals and gentle piano chords, the trumpeter weaves melancholic magic.



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