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Tomasz Stańko RIP

Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s.

by Jon Davis, Published 2018-07-31

Growing up in Communist Poland, Stanko first heard jazz on the Voice of America radio program, and saw Dave Brubeck perform on one of the US State Department jazz tours of the 50s. He formed what is regarded as one of the first free jazz collectives in Poland, finding great attraction in the lack of constraints. Through his work with Komeda, he also developed an appreciation for structure and asymmetry. He also worked with famed Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki.

His group COCX included Vitold Rek and Apostolis Anthimos, and he also had a trio with Arild Andersen and Jon Christensen. His most recent work was with his New York Quintet, with David Virelles, Gerald Cleaver, Reuben Rogers, and Thomas Morgan.

He was diagnosed with lung cancer in April of 2018, and finally died from pneumonia in a Warsaw hospital.


Filed under: Obituaries

Related artist(s): Apostolis Anthimos, Tomasz Stańko

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