Tomasz Stańko

Tales for a Girl

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This is Polish trumpeter and composer Tomasz Stanko at his most confounding. Paired with Janisz Skowron on synthesizer, Stanko claims that these pieces are nothing more than short little musical stories -- not fully realized compositions, but sketches. That's reasonable enough, but when certain pieces -- such as the opener -- are nine minutes in length, that becomes somewhat tenuous as an explanation. The 12 pieces that make up this "suite," if indeed it can be called that, are ephemeral roots and seedlings of ideas not yet realized and not meant to be. This, too, is acceptable as a notion, but why record them? Perhaps Brian Eno can get away with nonsense like this since he's not -- by his own admission -- a musician, but Stanko is an ambitious talent, a sophisticated composer whose control over an ensemble brings out the sublime in them. This is throwaway music, ignoble and forgettable and not worth the time or materials it took to produce. A bitter disappointment.

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