"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.
Christof Lauer is a German jazz tenor and soprano saxophonist, born in Melsungen, Germany, perhaps most well known in Europe where he has done projects with various musicians, such as Palle Danielsson, Carla Bley, Michel Godard, Volker Kriegel, Michel Portal, Maria Joao, Anthony Cox, Gary Husband, Alphonse Mouzon, and Peter Erskine.
Trio M/E/D is also the album recorded by these three great musicians and friends at the close of their 2014 tour of Italy. Word had recently reached us about the untimely passing of Charlie Haden, and Palle Danielsson played a most-touching and rhapsodic tribute to his predecessor in the Keith Jarrett Quartet. Palle’s musical remembrance was the only silver lining to that dark cloud of news, and I was grateful to witness it and to know that it would be preserved for others to hear.
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.
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
When I was asked to pick a "dream team" for the 1999 Jazzpar Combo I hadn't in my wildest dreams imagined that I would succeed in bringing together this band. Usually you are allowed to choose one guest star - I got three! When I realized my luck I knew instantly with such first-rate musicians as Scofield, Erskine and Lars very few directions were called for. These guys are not "only" amazing instrumentalist, they are also composers and band leaders in their own right, and it would be s shame not to make use of all abilities. So I asked all three of them to bring along some of their own compositions and tried to keep in the background during our rehearsals.
"A work of trio virtuosity of uncommon brilliance"