Aki Rissanen / Robin Verheyen / Markku Ounaskari - Aleatoric
( Eclipse Music ECD-201318. CD Review by Eric Ford)
If you have the luxury of being able to spend 50 minutes in a darkened room giving your full attention on headphones to this CD, you'll be treated to as much incident and pathos as can be found in any novel, play or film. Let's face it, that's a lot less time than it takes to check out a novel, play or film ! Get your thought-provoking emotion-fix in just 50 minutes from this CD !! There's a lot of beauty on this album, aswell as some of the dark melancholy ( which here is also beautiful and affecting ) that a lot of people expect from Scandinavian jazz / improvised music. There's no swing. There is a great connection between the three musicians involved. They're perfectly-suited to one another, hence the excellent collective improvisation. There are "heads", structures, chord sequences, sections that are in time...everything you'd expect from a jazz album, but the improvising is very "free" in the best sense of the word. I'd say this trio produces a great blend of form and freedom.
Pianist Aki Rissanen (from Finland) is exceptional in his touch, improvisation, technique and empathy with drummer Markku Ounaskari - who exhibits great taste and imagination - and Belgian tenor and soprano saxophonist Robin Verheyen. I particularly loved his soprano sound, but (don't read this if I've already sold it to you and you plan to buy it) maybe the most touching track on the album is the final piano / tenor duet, on which the pair allow themselves to sound a bit old-fashioned at times, and then confound one's expectations whilst retaining the charm and deepening the emotion.
In case you hadn't noticed...I recommend this CD.