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About ECM
March 18 , 2004


Trumpeter Tomasz Stanko was presented with a Gold Disc for sales of “Soul of Things” at a press conference at the Rozmaitosci Theatre in Warsaw on March 3rd , which also served to introduce his newest recording, “Suspended Night”.

Celebrated over the last four decades as Poland’s most important jazz musician, Stanko, now 61, has connected to a broad new audience, both at home and abroad, with his current band, featuring three musicians all less than half his age. Pianist Marcin Wasilewski, and bassist Slawomir Kurkiewicz were 18 and drummer Michal Miskiewicz only 16 when Stanko took them under his wing in 1994; with his guidance they have become exceptional musicians…

“Suspended Night” is already on Poland’s best-seller lists, is picking up rave reviews internationally – “If everyone who owned ‘Kind of Blue’ heard Tomasz Stanko’s new album, it would top the charts tomorrow’ said The Guardian - and even the notoriously self-critical Stanko feels good about it: “I never listened to any of my previous albums as much, except perhaps ‘Litania’. ‘Suspended Night’ seems more free and more communicative than ‘Soul of Things’, and also more mysterious and transparent.”

Asked about the album’s dark moods by UK magazine Jazzwise, Stanko replied, “I perceive my music as an extension of my personality. I have a penchant for reflection. I love melancholic moods, and I do not subscribe to striving for happiness as life’s most precious value. William Faulkner said once, when interviewed, that only vegetables are happy!”*

*The Faulkner quote in its entirety, since it seems to have bearing on Stanko’s biography: “People need trouble – a little frustration, to sharpen the spirit, or toughen it. Artists do; I don’t mean you have to live in a rat hole or gutter, but you have to learn fortitude, endurance. Only vegetables are happy.”