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Tomasz Stánko

Tomasz Stánko - © Cezary Piwowarski /

born on 11/7/1942 in Rzeszów, Województwo podkarpackie, Poland

died on 29/7/2018 in Warszawa, Masowien, Poland

Tomasz Stanko

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Tomasz Stańko (born July 11, 1942) is a Polish trumpeter, composer and improviser. Often recording for ECM Records, Stańko is strongly associated with free jazz and the avant-garde.

Coming to prominence in the early 1960s alongside pianist Adam Makowicz in the Jazz Darings, Stańko later collaborated with pianist Krzysztof Komeda, notably on Komeda's pivotal 1966 album Astigmatic.[1] In 1968, Stańko formed an acclaimed quintet that included Zbigniew Seifert on violin and alto saxophone, and in 1975 he formed the Tomasz Stańko-Adam Makowicz Unit.

Stańko has since established a reputation as a leading figure not only in Polish jazz, but on the world stage as well, working with many notable musicians, including Jack DeJohnette, Dave Holland, Reggie Workman,[2] Rufus Reid, Lester Bowie, David Murray, Manu Katche and Chico Freeman. In 1984 he was a member of Cecil Taylor's big band.[3]

Stańko lost his natural teeth in the 1990s, although over time he developed a new embouchure with the help of a skilled dentist and monotonous practice. He would spend long hours playing what he deemed to be "boring" long tones which helped to strengthen his lip, in spite of playing with the disadvantage of false teeth.[4]


I don't go out much. I don't drive a car. I don't have a hobby, like golf. Only music. I stopped drinking and I stopped doping. I stopped for financial reasons, to be independent, not for health. I am a strong guy.

Tomasz Stańko[4]

Tomasz Stańko was born in Rzeszów, Poland, on July 11, 1942.[5] His first encounters with jazz were through Voice of America radio programs and tours initiated by the U.S. State Department. Coming of age in Communist Poland, Stanko was impressed by the correlation jazz had with a message of freedom. In 1958 he saw his first jazz concert given by Dave Brubeck.[6] Along with the pianist Adam Makowicz; the group took inspiration from the music of musicians such as Ornette Coleman, George Russell and Miles Davis and is considered by many critics to be the first group in Europe to perform in the free jazz medium.[7]

In 1963 Stanko joined the Krzysztof Komeda quintet, where he learned much of what he now knows of harmony, musical structure and asymmetry. During his career with Komeda, which concluded in 1967, Stanko did five tours with the pianist and recorded eleven albums with him. In 1968 Stanko formed a quintet that met critical acclaim—one that included Zbigniew Seifert on violin and alto saxophone.[8] In 1970 he joined the Globe Unity Orchestra, and in 1971 he did collaborations with Krysztof Penderecki and Don Cherry. Not long after he formed a quartet that included himself Tomasz Szukalski and the drummer Edward Vesala. His performances with Vesala are often considered to be some of his most important work.[7] In 1975 he formed the Tomasz Stańko-Adam Makowicz Unit.[8]

During the 1980s he traveled to India and recorded solo work in the Taj Mahal, and also worked with Vesala in groups led by Chico Freeman and Howard Johnson. In the mid-1980s he began doing extensive work with Cecil Taylor, performing in his big bands and also led various groups of his own, including COCX (with Vitold Rek and Apostolis Anthimos). Then, before returning to ECM Records, Stanko also worked in a trio that included himself, Arild Andersen and Jon Christensen.[7] In 1993 Stanko formed a new quartet composed of the then 16-year-old drummer Michal Miskiewicz, along with Miskiewicz's two friends, pianist Marcin Wasilewski and bassist Slawomir Kurkiewicz.[9] That same year he also formed an international quartet that included Bobo Stenson, Tony Oxley and Anders Jormin.[7] in 1994 the quartet released their first ECM recording titled Matka Joanna. In 1997 Stanko formed a group which performed the songs of pianist Krzysztof Komeda, touring London, Copenhagen, Stockholm and appearing at jazz festivals like those in Nancy and Berlin. The idea for the project came from ECM president Manfred Eicher.[4]

Critical appreciation

Derk Richardson has written for the San Francisco Chronicle that, "Tomasz Stanko is not the first jazz musician to negotiate a rapprochement between gorgeous melodies and free improvisation. But he is one of the most eloquent proponents of extemporaneous lyricism working today."[10] Author Brian Morton has compared Stanko's lyricism to that of Miles Davis, calling it a "direct but individual offshoot."[11]

Selected discography

As leader

Year Title Label
1974 Fish Face Poljazz
1975 TWET with Tomasz Szukalski, Edward Vesala, Peter Warren PN Muza
1975 Tomasz Stańko & Adam Makowicz Unit
with Adam Makowicz, feat. Czesław Bartkowski
JG Records
1976 Unit with Adam Makowicz PSJ
1976 Balladyna ECM
1978 Live at Remont with Edward Vesala Quartet Helicon
1979 Almost Green Leo Records
1980 Music from Taj Mahal and Karla Caves Leo Records
1983 Stańko (W Pałacu Prymasowskim) Poljazz
1984 Music 81 PN Muza
1985 A i J Poljazz
1985 C.O.C.X. Pronit
1986 Korozje with Andrzej Kurylewicz Poljazz
1986 Lady Go… PN Muza
1988 Witkacy Peyotl / Freelectronic Poljazz
1988 The Montreux Performance aka Switzerland
Tomasz Stańko Freelectronic
PN Muza / ITM Germany
1989 Chameleon Utopia Records
1989 Tomasz Stańko Polish Jazz vol. 8 PN Muza
1991 Tales for a Girl, 12, and a Shaky Chica JAM
1992 Bluish Power Bros
1993 Bosonossa and Other Ballads GOWI
1994 Balladyna – Theatre Play Compositions GOWI
1996 Roberto Zucco Polonia
1997 Leosia ECM
1999 From the Green Hill ECM
2004 Selected Recordings ECM
2005 Wolność w sierpniu FIRe
2008 Freelectronic in Montreux[12] NewEdition
2014 Polin[13] Polin

Tomasz Stańko Quintet

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales Certifications
Music For K
  • Released: 1970
  • Label: Polskie Nagrania Muza
  • Formats: LP, CD
Jazzmessage from Poland
  • Released: 1972
  • Label: JG Records
  • Formats: LP, CD
Purple Sun
  • Released: 1973
  • Label: Calig Records
  • Formats: LP, CD
Dark Eyes
  • Released: October 19, 2009[16]
  • Label: ECM Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download[17]
5 16
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Tomasz Stańko Quartet

Title Album details Peak chart positions Sales Certifications
Matka Joanna
  • Released: September 4, 1995
  • Label: ECM Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download[20]
Soul of Things
  • Released: January 14, 2002[21]
  • Label: ECM Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download[22]
Suspended Night
  • Released: March 16, 2004[25]
  • Label: ECM Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download[26]
10 20
  • Released: August 29, 2006[27]
  • Label: ECM Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download[28]
16 14
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Tomasz Stańko New York Quartet

Title Album details Peak chart positions
  • Released: February 12, 2013[30]
  • Label: ECM Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download[31]
December Avenue
  • Released: March 31, 2017[32]
  • Label: ECM Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Tomasz Stańko Septet

Title Album details Sales Certifications
Litania: Music of Krzysztof Komeda
  • Released: September 23, 1997[33]
  • Label: ECM Records
  • Formats: CD, digital download[34]

Video albums

Title Video details Notes
Sounds Like Christmas
  • Released: November 16, 2004
  • Label: Euroarts
  • Formats: DVD
  • with Angelika Kirchschlager,
    Gottfried von der Goltz
    and Freiburg Baroque Orchestra


Title Album details
A Farewell to Maria
  • Released: 1994[37]
  • Label: GOWI Records
  • Formats: CD
  • Released: February 13, 2001[38]
  • Label: Universal Music Poland
  • Formats: CD
  • Released: September 4, 2001[39]
  • Label: Universal Music Poland
  • Formats: CD


Album Year
Krzysztof Komeda - Astigmatic 1966
Tadeusz Prejzner - Spacer Brzegiem Morza 1969
Globe Unity Orchestra - Globe Unity 67 & 70[40] 1970
Dżamble - Wołanie O Słońce Nad Światem 1971
Piotr Figiel - Piotr 1971
Maryla Rodowicz - Wyznanie 1972
Novi Singers - Rien Ne Va Plus 1973
Jan "Ptaszyn" Wróblewski - Sprzedawcy Glonów
Edward Vesala - Satu[41] 1977
Edward Vesala - Heavylife[42] 1980
Gary Peacock - Voice from the Past - Paradigm[43] 1981
Graham Collier - Hoarded Dreams 1983
Cecil Taylor - Winged Serpent (Sliding Quadrants) 1985
Nicolas Simion - Dinner for Don Carlos[44] 1991
Leszek Możdżer - Chopin - Impresje 1994


  1. ^ Cook, Bernard A. (2001). Europe Since 1945: An Encyclopedia, Vol. II K-Z. p. 1020. 
  2. ^ Heffley, Mike (2005). Northern Sun, Southern Moon: Europe's Reinvention of Jazz. p. 176. 
  3. ^ Yanow, Scott (2000). Trumpet Kings: The Players who Shaped the Sound of Jazz Trumpet. p. 351. 
  4. ^ a b c Zwerin, Mike (1997-10-13). "The Soul of Polish Jazz and the Free Market". International Herald Tribune. 
  5. ^ Yanow, Scott (2003). Jazz on Record: The First Sixty Years. p. 251. 
  6. ^ Chinen, Nate (2006-10-25). Trumpeting Freedom, in Spirit, Thought and Jazz. The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-05-25. 
  7. ^ a b c d "Tomasz Stańko biography". Archived from the original on 2008-05-09. 
  8. ^ a b Carr, Ian; Digby Fairweather; Brian Priestley. The Rough Guide to Jazz. p. 499. 
  9. ^ Himes, Geoffrey (2005-03-11). "MARCIN WASILEWSKI SLAWOMIR KURKIEWICZ MICHAL MISKIEWICZ "Trio" ECM". The Washington Post. 
  10. ^ Richardson, Derk (5 October 2006). "Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko creates intense, rigorously intelligent acoustic jazz". SF Gate. Retrieved 28 September 2016. 
  11. ^ Morton, Brian (2005). Miles Davis. p. 151. 
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  14. ^ a b c
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  16. ^,539327,title,Dark-Eyes,plyta.html
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  18. ^ a b
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  21. ^,53484,title,Soul-Of-Things,plyta.html
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  23. ^ a b
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  25. ^,482453,title,Suspended-Night,plyta.html
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  27. ^,482714,title,Lontano,plyta.html
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  30. ^,671016,title,Wislawa,plyta.html
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  33. ^,483223,title,Litania-The-Music-of-Krzysztof-Komeda,plyta.html
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  38. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-03. Retrieved 2017-11-16. 
  39. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved 2017-11-16. 
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External links

This page was last modified 17.04.2018 19:30:50

This article uses material from the article Tomasz Stanko from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.