Thursday, April 15, 2010

Tomasz Stanko Live At Birdland

Tomasz Stanko Quintet
Live At Birdland 14.4.2010
(Hey it's not the best picture in the world but I tried.)

A dark, melodic, roaming evening with the new Tomasz Stanko Quintet the iconic jazz club, Birdland in New York. The "jazz corner of the world" was about 2/3 filled as the legendary Polish trumpeter approached the stage in support of his new release Dark Eyes (ECM). The band went through a series of short pieces that highlighted each of Stanko's new members exquisitely. For me, Jakob Bro (guitar) and Olavi Louhivuori (drums) where the major standouts. Bro's interplay throughout the earlier pieces was sublime. Louhivuori's time changes were delicate and inventive. Tomasz Stanko's playing picked up towards the final two pieces as he finally let loose with some vintage work.

The new quintet has a vibrant attitude that is definitely a contrast to his previous quartet led by Marcin Wasilewski (piano), Slawomir Kurkiewicz (bass) and Michal Miskiewicz (drums) which feature more introspective and emotional detail. Dark Eyes sizzles with Jakob Bro's almost Abercrombie-esque atmospherics and the rest of the bands subtle exuberance making the album truly fresh in quality. Live the quintet are still working through a number of new directions but it's a journey worth jumping aboard--impressive and open. An all around thoughtful evening. (The following videos are not from the show last night.)

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