By The Guardian
Cecil Taylor and Don Cherry collaborator had continued to perform until a recent lung cancer diagnosis.
Polish jazz trumpeter Tomasz Stańko has died aged 76, following a lung cancer diagnosis earlier this year.
Tomasz Tłuczkiewicz, deputy head of Poland’s Jazz Association, confirmed that Stańko died early on Sunday at a Warsaw hospital.
Stańko was one of European jazz’s most celebrated figures, often recording for iconic avant-garde record label ECM and performing with Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry, Dave Holland and Jack DeJohnette, among others. Holland paid tribute on Twitter, calling him “a unique musician with deep feelings and a gentle soul”.
Stańko was born in Rzeszów in 1942. His first live encounter with jazz came at a 1958 Dave Brubeck concert – though he became more strongly influenced by the exploratory free jazz of Ornette Coleman and Miles Davis from the mid-60s onwards. He formed numerous bands throughout his lifetime, the most recent of which was the Tomasz Stańko New York Quartet.
Reviewing their 2017 album December Avenue, Guardian jazz critic John Fordham wrote: “Nobody holds a single, long-blown trumpet note like the Polish pioneer Tomasz Stańko – a wearily exhaled, soberly ironic, yet oddly awestruck sound that is unique in jazz.”