"Avoid the basic concept of the jazz piano trio and make it more groovy, with simple melodies” Iiro Rantala. After the album “My Working Class Hero,” dedicated to John Lennon and “Tears for Esbjörn,” a homage to the influential Swedish pianist, “How Long Is Now?” puts the spotlight fairly and squarely back on to the Finnish pianist, composer and life-force Iiro Rantala. This new trio album with Peter Erskine (drums) and Lars Danielsson (bass) constitutes a many-faceted summing-up of a happy and resoundingly creative phase of Rantala’s life. Rantala says of the new album: “I think this is one of those ‘composition is the king’ kind of projects. The theme, the writing, the mood of the composition are the most important things.” Seven of the thirteen compositions here are by Rantala himself, three tracks by the other players in the trio, and three more are by others who, in their different ways, have helped to construct Rantala’s appealing musical personality.
Lars Danielsson ACT-debut “Libera me“ (ACTSACD 9800-2) left no doubts about his creative versatility. And yet: the bass player, cellist and composer continues to surprise. His latest ACT-release “Mélange Bleu” (ACT 9604-2) shows up a completely new dimension to this musician with enormous potential. Danielsson has surrounded himself with partners like pianist Bugge Wesseltoft, trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer und guitarist Eivind Aarset, all of them specialists for mood music that often develops in before a backdrop of ambient inspired sounds, samples and programmed beats.
Happy coincidences can often lead to extraordinary results. No-one could have foreseen that Lars Danielsson and the Armenian pianist Tigran would pair up to form the new dream duo of the European jazz scene, when in fact the two musicians played their first concert together only one week before the scheduled recordings of Liberetto. It was clear from the first note that two musical soulmates had found each other, and despite it happening by coincidence the result of their meeting was all the more intense. Lars Danielsson says: “Tigran sees my music exactly the way I do and he composes music exactly the way I would do myself. For example, his ‘Svensk Låt’ sounds more Swedish than my songs. It was simply fantastic to record this album with him.”
Tarantella is a quietly eloquent album that reveals new layers with each listening and is a worthy addition to the growing canon of great European jazz recordings