TOMASZ STANKO QUINTET "Music for K"
Back in 1970, when this disc was recorded, Tomasz Stanko, by now an internationally established and admired jazz personality, was already known as one of the very few convincing free-jazzmen. In his bold endeavours he was lucky to enjoy some understanding and sensitive partners. Earlier, in the sixties Stanko's experiences were both as a sideman and a leader. He cooperated with such greats as Krzysztof Komeda, Wlodzimierz Nahorny, Zbigniew Namyslowski, Andrzej Trzaskowski, Don Cherry and Albert Mangelsdorff, but his favourite partners were Janusz Muniak, Janusz Stefanski, Zbig Seifert and - a bit later - Bronislaw Suchanek. Tomasz Stanko Quintet flourished without personal changes for five years (1969-1973), scoring a big success during 1970 Jazz Jamboree. Around that time, a year after untimely death of Krzysztof Komeda (1939-1969), the quintet recorded four pieces by Stanko, naming the LP after the main composition :Music for K", thus paying homage to the memory of deceased friend and expressing his emotional attitude toward his premature death. However, Stanko didn't attempt to relate here to Komeda's sound or style and remains very much himself presenting his peculiar, personal way of shaping music, remote, on the surface only, from the structural clarity. His predilection toward spontaneous development of music, based on very few indispensable determinants, surprisingly dovetails here with the emotional content of such deeply felt numbers like „Cry" and „Music for K". It seems obvious that Stanko's free stems rather from Coltrane's last work and his shades of expression are rich and many. „The Ambusher" is charged with mystery and suppressed feelings/ It is bracketed by the nervous, aggressive bop phrase, that serves also later as a closing sequence at the end of this disc. Stanko's soloing (there are even lyrical passages in the „Infinitely Small"), as well as the solos by Muniak and Seifert and their twin, simultaneous blazes are ingeniously supported by Suchanek and Stefanski. Their playing supplies impetus ans mystery, abandon and motion, making various moods meaningful. In the middle between them and Stanko's trumpet both saxophones prowl, similar in sound and attack. Their dissonant, double-concord pulsation appear twice in „Cry"-kind of obsessive, frozen riff under the fiery trumpet lamentations. Zbig Seifert (1946-1979) who was soon to switch back to the violin, his previous instrument from the conservatory years, plays here alto side by side with more experienced partners, Muniak and Stanko. Note their joint sequence in „Cry", just before the saxophone wailing calms down leading to a dirge - chorale which concludes this number. The last and more extended piece „Music for K" is very diversified in moods and tempi. The brooding , painful passages intertwine with a wailing trumpet exhortations. Then Suchanek plays a clear sounding solo, pregnant with wonderful ideas, after, interrupted by calmer chant-like passages. Stefanski's drums supporting trumpet cone gradually to the fore, to tell us of things inevitable. Once again, from the piercing cries a song of resentment takes off to the sky and ends abruptly, and then from the bottom of silence an uproar of a four notes, repeated and growing in volume motif starts and stops on the note B. Silence again. The sound of bass bring back the initial phrase from „The Ambusher" to end this music definitely.