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Diminutive, 68-year-old Polish free-jazzman Tomasz Stanko led a new quintet of 30-something Scandinavians through a thoughtful, occasionally fiery 90-minute set.

Stanko has come a long way from when he was initially dismissed as a Lester Bowie imitator in 1970. Today, the Stanko sound is dark, stark, and grainy when he screeches. There's no mistaking him for any other trumpeter now, and this is good.

Touring in support of his new CD Dark Eyes, the group began with "Samba Nova" a light, Latin groove. In the last few years, Stanko has abandoned the free-jazz dogma for something more composed and melodic. Having said that, his best moments were when he "took it out" and blew shards of mayhem into the night.

Danish guitarist Jakob Bro was particularly creative as a colorist, and Finnish pianist Alexi Tuomarila is a real find. His solos's were consistent high points.

Especially memorable was the encore, a brand new Stanko composition called "Next Day." It featured a graceful melody with a harmony reminiscent of Burt Bacharach of all people!

  • Concert: Tomasz Stanko Quintet
  • Date: April 6
  • Venue: Anthology
  • Seats: floor level, fifth row
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