365 Days of Album Recommendations – May 21

Tomasz Stańko – From The Green Hill


This is an album by Tomas Stanko, a Polish trumpeter, composer, and bandleader, whose career began in the early 70s and continues through to today.

He’s released an incredible number of albums, and this is my favorite of them all. It’s just a tremendously, relentlessly beautiful recording; the playing is exemplary for its grace and emotional power, and the compositions are deeply thought out and constructed.

But it’s the instrumentation that truly sets it apart. In addition to Stanko’s trumpet, the critical sounds of the album come from violin and … bandoneon. Yes, bandoneon.

The bandoneon here is recorded so wonderfully, so intimately, you can hear the clicks of the keys in your ears, and it’s like rainfall on a tin roof …

How to describe the sound of this album? It’s as if the Miles Davis of Sketches of Spain and In a Silent Way recorded a set of Eastern European folk songs for the soundtrack of a movie about the most beautiful hill in Argentina …

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