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Tomasz Stanko: Chopin’s Letters. Improvisations | NIFC (National Institute Frederick Chopin) NIFCCD074

Tomasz Stanko: Chopin’s Letters. Improvisations

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Label: NIFC (National Institute Frederick Chopin)

Cat No: NIFCCD074

Barcode: 5906395034710

Format: CD

Number of Discs: 1

Genre: Jazz

Release Date: 17th February 2023

Contents

Artists

Tomasz Stanko (trumpet)
Marcin Wasilewski (piano)
Arild Andersen (double bass)
Olavi Louhivuori (drums)
Andrzej Chyra (reciter)

Artists

Tomasz Stanko (trumpet)
Marcin Wasilewski (piano)
Arild Andersen (double bass)
Olavi Louhivuori (drums)
Andrzej Chyra (reciter)

About

Together with invited musicians and outstanding Polish actor, Andrzej Chyra, legendary jazz trumpeter, Tomasz Stańko, created a unique evening of improvisations on the letters of Fryderyk Chopin.

This new release from The Chopin Institute presents the recording of this performance which took place as part of the Chopin and His Europe International Music Festival (2014).The history of improvising on Chopin themes began before the war, when swing pianists and bands turned to popular works of classical music that were suited to becoming standards. This continued throughout the second half of the 20th century through performers such as Andrzej Jagodziński, Leszek Możdżer, Krzysztof Herdzin and Leszek Kułakowski, who all recorded for Polonia Records.

There was already a clear difference in approaches to the composer's works. Jagodziński took care not to venture too far from the composer's notation. Leszek Możdżer, meanwhile, played jazzed- up Chopin solo, unlike Krzysztof Herdzin, who adopted a hardbop line at the head of his quintet and treated Chopin's themes like the standards of Horace Silver.

Despite Chopin's exceptional popularity among jazz musicians, there is no doubt that jazz and the music of Chopin remain worlds apart, both historically and stylistically. Supporters of Chopin arrangements invoke his own exceptional talent for improvisation, repeatedly emphasised in accounts from his day. They even claim that 'if he had lived, he would certainly have played jazz'.

For Stańko, Chopin's original letters (through the voice of Andrzej Chyra), on such varied situations, in such a range of places, featuring such different people, represented a difficult, but hugely appealing challenge. Find here, Stańko's musical reflections on Chopin's letters. The impression created is powerful, but indistinct, although led in a particular direction and, despite the surrealistic combination, with a tangible common denominator. Each listener of this disc will have different feelings about it, across the palette of the ambiguity that arises where Chopin's words meet contemporary jazz.

Among all the jazz musicians in Poland, Tomasz Stańko is the artist to have achieved the greatest success on a global scale. His career, lasting several decades, was marked by endless searches, collaborations with hundreds of outstanding musicians from around the world, and a continuous process of testing himself in the most wide-ranging situations. Thomas Stańko has taken part in several Chopin projects, both on recording (incl. with Leszek Możdżer in 1993) and in concert-at the Chopin and his Europe festival in 2007 (performing with the Japanese pianist Makoto Ozone) and in 2010 (in the programme 'Tomasz Stańko in Tribute to Chopin', with Dominik Wania on piano, Slawomir Kurkiewicz on double bass and Olavi Louhivuori on drums).

The Polskie Nagrania label's Polish Jazz series was integral to the history of Polish and European jazz. It captured the work of legendary artists and documented the unique characteristics that constituted its genotype, which might be termed Polish romanticism. And it is to that strand, still distinctly present on the Polish music scene, that the Fryderyk Chopin Institute's new phonographic series - Polish Romantic Jazz - is devoted.

Tracks:
1. Teeny
2. Daada
3. Maldoror's War Song
4. The Dark Eyes of Martha Hirsh
5. Melancholia
6. Euforila
7. Ballada
8. New Y
9. Terminal 7

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