In his fifteenth year of training, aspiring champion swimmer Kuba lives a normal, uneventful life - at home with his mother and girlfriend. He happily switches back and forth from good sex with Sylwia to the occasional back rub his mother craves. But Kuba has also been growing more curious about some of the boys at the gym. At a gallery opening one night, he is out of place and totally bored until he meets Michal.
These three young Poles are known to ECM listeners worldwide for their sensitive playing in the Tomasz Stanko Quartet. In their homeland, however, they are also have a strong reputation as an autonomous group. Their first international release shows why. With a wide-open repertoire that intersperses original material with interpretations of pieces by Bjork, Wayne Shorter and Szymanowski, Wasilewski, Kurkiewicz and Miskiewicz bring something new to the piano trio tradition.
The fourth ECM album for the Wasilewski Trio adds a special guest, the lyrical Swedish saxophonist Joakim Milder, whom the Poles came to know through performances with Tomasz Stanko’s Litania project. Amongst other affinities, the players share a love of Krzyzstof Komeda’s music, and Komeda’s “Sleep Safe and Warm” theme, written for Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby makes a reappearance here. As ever, the Wasilewski group balances original material – intensely melodic new tunes by Marcin (including two variations of the beautiful title track) – with a daring range of covers, embracing Herbie Hancock, the Police’s “Message In A Bottle” and Slawomir Kurkiewicz’s arrangement of a composition by Grazyna Bacewicz, and reinforces its status as one of the most resourceful groups around.
ECM's star trumpeter continues to set the benchmark for contemporary European jazz.
Since recording the acclaimed 2001 classic Soul of Things, this great elder statesman of European jazz appears to have had the musical equivalent of 'nip and tuck' surgery. This fresh lease of life is due in no small part to the incredible chemistry between him and his young Polish piano trio. Currently recording for ECM in their own right, they include the enigmatic pianist Marcin Wasilewski.
From the title it's fairly obvious that Stanko is dedicating this work to his former boss and compatriot, the late Kryzsztof Komeda, who had passed a few years before. But it's difficult to believe that this was recorded in 1970. Stanko's quintet was so fully versed in the free jazz aesthetic and pursued to fuse it to the European classicism and avant-gardism of his native Poland. There are five tracks here, all part of a larger suite that is opened and closed by a theme. Stanko's writing is for a large harmonic palette realizable by two saxophones and his own trumpet with a rhythm section.
New love, position, power, revenge, disguise, mistaken identity, complications and passionate devotion – the full spectrum of baroque opera seria is here in this new recording of Pergolesi’s ‘Adriano In Siria’. Franco Fagioli leads the cast, alongside Romina Basso, Yuriy Mynenko, Dilyara Idrisova, Juan Sancho and Cigdem Soyarslan, accompanied by the exuberant Polish orchestra Capella Cracoviensis under the baton of Jan Tomasz Adamus. Famed for his Stabat Mater, Pergolesi died aged just 26 but had already completed four opera seria; ‘Adriano in Siria’ is the third of these and has a libretto by Metastasio.
Unchained unites the work of two, at-first, seemingly disparate composers, Polands Tomasz Sikorski and the African-American Julius Eastman. However, both died age 49, Sikorski in 1988, Eastman in 1990, both led troubled lives that spiraled out of control, both are experiencing posthumous rediscovery and, most importantly, musically both can placed, albeit with different methodologies, in the minimalist camp. The titling of the works in Eastmans case are confronting, the music less so. Played by the Lutosawski Piano Duo (Emilia Sitarz and Bartek Wasik), Joanna Duda and Mischa Kozlowski.