He possesses a golden tone incorporated with a slight rasp, amid deft expressionism and thoughtful constructions of themes. A cunning improviser, Stanko is comfortable exploring the freer scheme of things amid navigations into ethereal soundscapes and much more. Notions of passion, warmth, and simmering, improvisational maneuvers mark his sound and style.
The composition titled "Tale," is culled from his inaugural ECM outing, Balladyna and features bassist Dave Holland and the late, drummer Edward Vesala. Here, the rhythm section provides Stanko with a staggered swing vibe, accented with Vesala’s polyrhythmic touch - where the trumpeter renders yearning lines via an open-ended theme. Highlights abound throughout, including a probing duet with pianist Bobo Stenson on "Sleep Safe And Warm." Whereby, this composition is culled from Stanko’s 1997 recording, Litania - The Music of Krzysztof Komeda. As the musicians’ ethereal musings are drenched with lament, sorrow, and a glimmer of optimism. Then again, Stanko injects a personalized and somewhat emotional approach into all of these compositions. Folks, these attributes cannot be taught in music institutions! Essentially, Stanko’s finely honed craft is structured upon enviable technical gifts and a singular musical persona that provides the overriding mark of distinction. (Ardently recommended.... )