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Cirque Du Soleil
(Cirque Du Soleil)
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Patricia Barber
(Blue Note)
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Cirque Du Soleil
(Cirque Du Soleil)
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Jim Pearce
“Why I Haven't Got You”
Prairie Dog Ballet
(Oak Avenue Publishing)
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Andy Timmons Band
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(Favored Nations)
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Ralph Towner
Time Line
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Anoushka Shankar

Amos Lee
"Arms Of A Woman"
Amos Lee
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Julius Curcio
"American Pie"
Alligator Shoes
(Electric Roots)
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"Come Alive"
Changing Into Me
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Spotlights [Issue # 9 ]
Tomasz Stanko: Suspended Night

By Jason Sklar

“[The melancholy spirit of the music] comes out of my aesthetic. In the same way that blues is happy and sad together - it is another kind of connection of two things.”

Trumpeter Tomasz Stanko’s Suspended Night nudges coherent lyricism out of a cloudy, rainy day mindset. It is like listening to a dream where you strain to remember the details upon waking up, but are only able to remember bits and pieces. Hearing Stanko and company’s extended variations are much like lucid dreaming in the early morning after you’ve hit the snooze.

This disk is an extended gaze out the window, musical R&R in the recliner if you will. Suspended Night embodies jazz noir, as it provides the perfect textural accompaniment to Raymond Chandler novels. In the same way smoke lingers around Chandler’s Phillip Marlowe, it invokes chiaroscuro textures akin to the more haunting works of Rembrandt.

The melancholy spirit of the music "comes out of my aesthetic," says Stanko. "In the same way that blues is happy and sad together, it is another kind of connection of two things."

To merge happiness and despondence, Stanko seeks both dirty and clean sounds on his trumpet. "I try to blow a voice," says Stanko. "I let the pleasure of playing dictate situation. [I] don’t really have form. This is process." Stanko feels his compositions are more like software than composition in that the music should be used and listened to how the consumer sees fit. "Listen how you like, man," chuckles Stanko.

With the unique grouping of "variations," Stanko said he only composed three new pieces for the album, drawing on older pieces for the rest. "This is long time composition," he says. "Depends on mood, situation, tempo or no tempo." He finds that the performance of the music is dramatically different at every performance. "All the music is in evolution all the time during the show."

The album is as much pianist Marcin Wasilewski’s as Stanko’s. Stanko met Wasilewski 12 years ago when he immediately recognized his talent. Wasilenski does more than provide a canvas and palette for Stanko’s brush strokes. Indeed, Wasilewski does a substantial amount of painting of his own. Piano trio aficionados can certainly indulge right alongside trumpet enthusiasts.

Suspended Night falls somewhere between Milesesque sketches and the meter-less sounding compositions of Dave Douglas, while not stretching your ear too much. Stanko’s quartet demonstrates a similar understanding of how to use space. In so doing, he takes you as far from the hustle-bustle day-to-day rat race as is imaginable and doesn’t begin to push you back to reality until the eighth variation.

His subdued variations certainly take their time easing into grooves and when they get there, they do not oust you from the trance that they set you in. Rather, they hold you in pleasant reverie just with a tad more focus and energy. As you nestle into Wasilewski’s piano-fluffed pillow, may the musical space and musicians’ sensitivity to one another mollify your mind.

Suspended Night

Suspended Night Tomasz Stanko Suspended Night

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