RECENT LISTENING: June 2021

‘Divided Horizon’ – Aki Rissanen
Aki Rissanen – solo piano/Omniwerk
Release date: 25 June 2021
editionrecords.com

‘Right Here, Right Now’Charlotte Keeffe
Charlotte Keeffe, Moss Freed, Ben Handysides, Ashley John Long, Diego Sampieri, London Improvisers Orchestra
Release date: 11 June 2021
discusmusic.bandcamp.com

‘Path of Seven Colors’ – Ches Smith’s We All Break
Ches Smith, Matt Mitchell, Miguel Zenón, Sirene Dantor Rene, Daniel Brevil, Markus Schwartz, Fanfan Jean-Guy Rene
Release date: 11 June 2021
weallbreakpyroclastic.bandcamp.com

‘Tales from the Jacquard’ – Julian Siegel Jazz Orchestra
Julian Siegel, Nick Smart, Tom Walsh, Percy Pursglove, Henry Lowther, Claus Stotter, Mark Nightingale, Trevor Mires, Harry Brown, Richard Henry, Mike Chillingworth, Jason Yarde, Stan Sulzmann, Tori Freestone, Gemma Moore, Mike Outram, Liam Noble, Oli Hayhurst, Gene Calderazzo
Release date: 25 June 2021
juliansiegel-whirlwind.bandcamp.com

‘We’re Young Pilgrims’ – Young Pilgrims
Richard Foote, Kieran McLeod, Mike Adlington, Sean Gibbs, Sam Wooster, Michael Owers, Chris Maddock, Jonathan Silk, Euan Palmer
Release date: 18 June 2021
emporium.stoneylane.net

‘Isn’t It Romantic?’ – Aki Takase, Daniel Erdmann
Aki Takase, Daniel Erdmann
Release date: 7 May 2021
bmcrecords.hu

RECENT LISTENING: September 2019 (1)

e.s.t – e.s.t. live in Gothenburg (2CD)
Esbjörn Svensson, Dan Berglund, Magnus Öström
Release date: 25 October 2019 (ACT Music)
www.actmusic.com/en/Artists/Esbjoern-Svensson-Trio-e.s.t./e.s.t.-live-in-Gothenburg/e.s.t.-live-in-Gothenburg-CD

Aki Rissanen – Art in Motion
Aki Rissanen, Antti Lötjönen, Teppo Mäkynen
Release date: 13 September 2019 (Edition Records)
akirissanen.bandcamp.com/album/art-in-motion

John Pearce – Just Friends
John Pearce, David Newton, Will Harris, Ian Matthews
Release date: 18 September 2019
johnpearce.bandcamp.com/album/just-friends

Mette Juul – Change
Mette Juul, Lars Danielsson, Ulf Wakenius, Heine Hansen, Gilad Hekselman, Per Møllehøj
Release date: 6 September 2019 (Universal Music)
mette-juul.com/music/

Kjetil Mulelid Trio – What You Thought Was Home
Kjetil Mulelid, Bjørn Marius Hegge, Andreas Winther
Release date: 30 August 2019 (Rune Grammofon)
runegrammofon.com/artists/kjetil-mulelid-trio/rcd2208-kjetil-mulelid-trio-what-you-thought-was-home-cd-lp/

Tonbruket – Masters of Fog
Dan Berglund, Johan Lindström, Martin Hederos, Andreas Werliin
Release date: 27 September 2019 (ACT Music)
actmusic.com/en/Artists/Tonbruket/Masters-of-Fog/Masters-of-Fog-CD

‘Amorandom’ – Aki Rissanen

Amorandum

DISPLAYING a distinctly oblique yet beautifully affecting jazz sensibility, Finnish pianist and composer Aki Rissanen’s Amorandom defines ‘the piano trio’ afresh in an album which effervesces with both spontaneity and unpredictability.

Rissanen originally conceived this music, a few years ago, as a soundtrack for respected Finnish animator, Antti Peränne. Yet, in its final form – and brought to life by colleagues Antii Lötjönen (double bass) and Teppo Mäkynen (drums) – it stands in splendid isolation as an absorbing, sit-up-and-listen release full of invention, atmosphere… and startling technique. Following a distinguished progression of classical and jazz education, the pianist has steadily been developing his international career as sideman/leader (recording with the likes of Dave Liebman, Randy Brecker and Michael Gibbs); and now, this collection – described as his major international debut – confirms Nordic jazz of lucid intelligence fired by an unquenchable, crackling spirit.

From the outset, Pulsar reveals what it is that sets this trio apart – arresting, repeated piano figures (imagine Reich, Glass) and deeply-plumbed notes; relentless, skittering impetus; sudden, ‘deafening’ calm. Jangling, atonal freedom in For Rainbows becomes animated through broken piano chords and crisp bass/percussion; and Passages Pas Sages creeps icily to rapid, dull toms and expansive piano, the trio’s innate sense of intensifying exploration continually unveiling fresh expression and interest. Aleatoric grooves to Rissanen’s rich chordal depth and joyously rippling soloing (the piano detail is stunning, with Lötjönen and Mäkynen such an integral part of its make-up); and delicately ornamented étude, Signettes (studio video here), demands close attention.

A woody clarinet resonance is imaginable in the carefree, piano-octave swing of For Jimmy Giuffre – such a precise yet blithe trio performance all round. Rissanen’s growling keyboard vigour in virtuosic solo miniature Eye-Opener might equally suggest Ginastera or Gwilym Simcock, its brevity neatly leading into the dramatic swirl of Bird Vision (maybe Charlie Parker is the inspiration) which bounces off the walls with reveille-car-horn motif and jarring block-chord energy, as well as Lötjönen’s wonderfully propulsive jazz/rock-fusion bass and Mäkynen’s scintillating percussion. And, to close, title track Amorandom carries the emotive, crescendoing, piano-led yearning associated with Esbjörn Svensson – a depth of musicality which indicates that this might just be the beginning of this partnership’s long and productive journey.

The jazz piano trio format exists in many guises as an enduringly powerful, creative and emotional environment – and Rissanen, who enjoys the variety and eclecticism of all of the projects he’s involved in, humbly (and surprisingly) alludes to a mild concern that there are “too many good trios around and everything has been done before.” WAIT a minute! Put this album through a responsive sound system, and it may well become one of the finest you’ll hear this year. Outstanding.

Released on 4 March 2016, Amorandom can be purchased as CD or high quality download at Edition Records’ Bandcamp store.

 

Aki Rissanen piano
Antti Lötjönen double bass
Teppo Mäkynen drums

akirissanen.com

Edition Records – EDN1067 (2016)