Soul of Things

Going from strength to strength over the past few years, veteran Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko presents this moody, textured suite of original tunes with his young road band as a follow-up to his rec

Going from strength to strength over the past few years, veteran Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko presents this moody, textured suite of original tunes with his young road band as a follow-up to his recent ECM super-group set, From the Green Hill, and his sublime tribute to film composer/band-leader Krzysztof Komeda, Litania. Stanko's quartet—the members of which have played with the leader since they were in their teens—performs his music with telepathic intimacy, and the trumpeter's lines have never been more subtly emotive. Although the album has its own, very European atmosphere, the Soul of Things vibe is reminiscent of Kind of Blue, with a common indigo hue to the motifs, a relaxed pace throughout, and a virtuosic economy of expression. Abetting Stanko's carefully groomed gestalt is the usual beautifully resonant ECM sound. Few jazz recordings, on either side of the Atlantic, are being made with this much poetry.—BB