Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Special Interest, Pop
A somber, stately, altogether pensive tone permeates this 1997 date on which ECM stalwarts Tomasz Stanko and Bobo Stenson work their sensitive magic on 10 original pieces. Odes to sadness, such as "Morning Heavy Song," "Fo... more »
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A somber, stately, altogether pensive tone permeates this 1997 date on which ECM stalwarts Tomasz Stanko and Bobo Stenson work their sensitive magic on 10 original pieces. Odes to sadness, such as "Morning Heavy Song," "Forlorn Walk," and "A Farewell to Maria" are taken at a dirge-like pace, allowing each musician space and time to explore the nuances of melancholy and introspection. Of particular interest is drummer Tony Oxley's contribution. More widely known for his highly textural, free-form style with musicians such as Cecil Taylor and Derek Bailey, here he adds sparse and wry commentary to the brooding music. Along with bassist Anders Jormin, he maintains a floating sense of pulse, around which Stanko's full trumpet sound and Stenson's feathery touch on the piano can ruminate. Not only does his drumming provide unconventional, though appropriate, new sounds (via an expanded drum kit), his masterful use of space gives the music a welcome element of mystery, adding yet another dimension to its depth. --Wally Shoup
Grace & melancholy
N. Dorward | Toronto, ON Canada | 12/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The trumpeter Tomasz Stanko has kept this band together for a while--Bobo Stenson on piano, Anders Jormin on bass, Tony Oxley on drums. I caught their first disc, _Bosonossa and Other Ballads_, which was released on the hard-to-get GOWI label. Two compositions from the earlier album, "Morning Heavy Song" & "Die Weisheit von Le comte Lautreamont", are played again here: both are given considerably more subtle, even more haunting renditions; the first of these counts as one of the best things recorded by ECM in the 1990s. Stanko is playing with considerable restraint, compared to the scorchingly growling & passionate trumpet of _Bosonossa_; the change of mood is probably to do with the album's dedication (in memory of his late mother). The other three players are in extremely good form; Stenson deserves a medal for the opening chords of "Leosia" alone. Little of this album is in any sense swinging jazz--only "Forlorn Walk" (which sounds like mid-1960s Miles Davis) breaks the pattern of slow free tempos. It's thus perhaps not for all tastes. Yet it's an immensely refined & atmospheric album that rates with the best of the last few decades. Those looking for less rarefied music should probably check out Stanko's _From the Green Hill_ first; but those accustomed to ECM's more abstract output should make this a top priority: it's gorgeous music indeed."
His Best. To date.
N. Dorward | 04/12/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having seen the maximum mark given to Leosia by Cook and Morton I instantly became sceptical - expecting music that is probably extremely complex. Actually it is not. Leosia is beautifully melodic and rhytmic, even though either happens in time and space somehow - and I can't yet put a finger on details of this phenomenon - markedly different than the rest. Leosia (the title, a Polish word of rich international potential (the Leo) is witty its own way having English connotations of a rank and status beyond its origin).
Litania is strong, Soul of Things is strong, I have not heard the GreenHill. Leosia is better than strong. A quiet yet uniquely powerful record.
I think I saw Mr Stanko at a hip hop club the other day. He wasn't there for fun, he was listening very intently to the gifted dj, on search for new influences."
Sparse Textures, Cold Brilliance
Raymond E. Andre | San Josť, CA United States | 12/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If you like the sparse loneliness of "Solea" on Miles Davis' "Sketches of Spain", you at least have a kindred spirit in this album. The overall effect of listening to this CD is much like looking at the light of stars on a brutally cold winter's night: the light is beautiful, but such beauty comes at a price: your emotions are hijacked by the sheer power and persuasiveness of the object of your gaze. I am, admittedly, only familiar with Jazz in a general sense, and only value those compositions and performances which directly affect me with their strong impressions, regardless of any of their other merits or faults. 'Leosia' reminds me of much of the music from a very far-removed genre, more familiar to those who enjoy the Dark Atmospheric releases from Sweden's Cold Meat Industry label, or almost anything by [Brian] Lustmord: very aptly termed "Isolationist" (not a derogatory term, by any means). 'Leosia' is the standard by which future "Isolationist Jazz" will be measured. A powerful and compelling album, as much from its restraint and subtlety, as from it's force and intent."