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.
Stankos 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 companys extended variations are much like lucid dreaming in
the early morning after youve 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 Chandlers 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] dont 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 Wasilewskis as Stankos. Stanko
met Wasilewski 12 years ago when he immediately recognized his talent. Wasilenski
does more than provide a canvas and palette for Stankos 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.
Stankos 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 doesnt begin to push you back to reality until the
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 Wasilewskis piano-fluffed pillow, may the musical space
and musicians sensitivity to one another mollify your mind.