Tomasz Stańko is arguably the greatest jazz musician Poland has ever produced. His career spanned almost 60 years until his death in 2018. A visionary trumpeter and composer, a protégé of Krzysztof Komeda and a colleague of musicians from Poland, Sweden, Norway, Britain, Cuba and the USA, his impact on jazz internationally was profound, proving that jazz was not exclusively an American art form but truly world-wide. In 2014 he was awarded the Polytika Passport in Poland, the Prix du Musicien Européan in Paris and the Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik.
The book is a no-holds-barred extended interview with broadcaster Rafał Księżyk originally published in Polish by Wydawnictwo Literackie.
Published: Jul 1, 2022
Reviews of the Polish Edition:
Until I picked up this autobiography my favourite thriller was the film Elevator to the Scaffold. Because that too has wild love, wild passion and a wonderful unpredictable screenwriter that we call fate. And towering above it all, we have the heavenly Miles. Now that I've plunged into the story of Tomasz Stańko's life, wherever I turn it's exactly the same.
Interviewing Tomasz Stańko, Rafał Księżyk is the right person in the right place – a competent, indeed equal partner for a discussion on music, since it is the subject-matter relating to creativity that is the most interesting aspect of this book. It is the passages where Stańko links evolutionism to improvisation, and also his discussions on place and meaning and the confines thereof in jazz (and beyond it) that are the most interesting passages in Desperado... there is also much to admire in his stories about celebrities which often end in the traditional jazz compliment: 'He was a great cat.
Bartek Chaciński in Polityka
Stańko speaks as he plays. His phrasing is a little dirty, but honest and poignant. The fascinating confessions of one of the greatest Polish artists.