Friday, 26 August 2016

Tomasz Stańko - Bluish (1991)

Triptykon made me dig this out - primarily to listen to more Arild Andersen in a trio format, where he turns in another rock solid performance, this time underpinning Tomasz Stańko.  The trumpeter was just emerging from an incredibly strange fusion era in the 80s (someday I'll post Freelectronic In Montreux, it's hilarious) and got right back to basics with this sublime trio recording.  Well, there's just three instruments credited; not sure what's going on in the two takes of Andersen's composition If You Look Enough, whether it's a vestigial synth or just delay effects on the bass or suchlike.

Bluish, "named after the place in your brain that is responsible for your addictions" (Stańko, in a 2010 autobiography) would've been a perfect ECM release - drummer Jon Christensen rounds out the trio.  In 1991 however, Stańko was still three years away from long-term commitment to the Eicher stable, so Bluish came out on a Polish label; luckily, it's still fairly easy to get hold of on CD.

Stańko would eventually hit ECM on an deeply melancholy, grey-streaked note that saturated his work for the rest of the 90s.  On Bluish, there's only hints toward this, notably on Third Heavy Ballad.  For the most part, this a light, airy album that swings, takes odd little diversions that could only be Stańko (notwithstanding the Andersen-composed bookends), and generally revels in its tight-but-loose atmosphere of mature free jazz at its most understated and effective.

Kind Of Bluish


  1. Thanks Alan.
    Jan from the Netherlands.

  2. I look forward to this. Many thanks.