Alexi Tuomarila: Kingdom Alexi Tuomarila Trio
- 1The Sun Hillock04:39
- 3The Girl in a Stetson Hat06:46
- 5The Times They Are a-Changin'06:02
- 8Bruin Bay06:04
- 9White Waters08:00
Info for Alexi Tuomarila: Kingdom
Described by Jazz Times as ...one of the next big deals on jazz piano... , Alexi Tuomarila is amoungst the finest pianists on the European Jazz scene right now. Known for his work with Polish ECM trumpeter Tomasz Stanko, Tuomarila has quietly grown into a musical force to reckon with. A true sculptor of sound, the pianist and composer has the ability to mould awe-inspiring melodic lines with precision and rhythmic finesse, decorated with a vibrantimagination, energy undercut with melancholy.
Kingdom is Alexi s new trio album with long term comrades Mats Eilertsen and Olavi Louhivuori (following the hugely successful release of Seven Hills in 2013). Two of the most respected musicians in European jazz, Eilertsen and Louhivuori combine wonderfully fluid technical proficiency and world class musicianship: they formidably articulate everything Tuomarila plays; their improvisations are bold and developed with sleekness and poise.
“This is an album that demands your attention and will repay repeated listening. It almost goes without saying that the recorded sound is second to none. The album is sure to raise the profile of this master pianist still further. Highly recommended.” (UK VIBE)
"This kind of maturity in a musician is really more the exception than the rule… I’m definitely excited about the future of this piano player". (BRAD MEHLDAU)
Alexi Tuomarila, piano
Mats Eilertsen, double bass
Olavi Louhivuori, drums
Alexi Tuomarila Trio
For more than 15 years Alexi Tuomarila has been quietly building a considerable reputation as one of the finest pianists of his generation in Europe, described by Jazz Times as ‘…one of the next big deals on jazz piano…’ and selected as one of the New Future Names of International Jazz by distinguished British jazz journalist Stuart Nicholson in the Observer newspaper.
Alexi has built an extensive catalogue both as a leader and as sideman with many groups, including for ECM with the late great trumpeter Tomasz Stanko. With Sphere he has produced his most accomplished album yet featuring his long-term collaborators, bassist Mats Eilertsen and drummer Olavi Louhivuori, and with the addition of guest soloist and Edition artist Verneri Pohjola. Alexi says: "For me Sphere in this context represents the constantly morphing and boiling space, where music is happening… the musical sphere is constantly changing and evolving, as is the musicians’ personal taste and approach towards music. I don’t think it’s possible to reinvent the piano trio, but it’s certainly possible to be influenced and touched by many different cultures and musical styles, and to integrate what has been learned into one’s music and playing.” Alexi demonstrates by his musical progression on his albums for Edition – 2017’s Kingdom, 2013’s Seven Hills and his album with Drifter – Flow from 2015 – that he is not only influenced by the music and the situations around him, but that like the artist he is, he is able to mold and shape these influences into something new and exciting.
The almost eerily intuitive playing of the trio stems from Alexi, Olavi and Mats’ long relationship – not just in this trio but in a host of other musical situations: “We have played together for 15 years as a trio and also in multiple other contexts, so we have grown into a strong unit. Besides having played so much together, we also all compose and play each other’s songs. So each of us contributes ideas equally to the music.
”The addition of the superb young Finnish trumpeter Verneri Pohjola to the mix (surely one of the brightest talents in the jazz world today) enriches the trio sound and brings out new elements in the trio’s compositions. “We all have been working together with Verneri in different combinations, so having Verneri playing and interpreting the songs felt really natural and made a lot of sense. He really was able to bring life to the songs.”
Sphere is simply quite brilliant, bringing together strong melodic, driving, rhythmical soloing, Finnish melancholia and some of the finest musicianship to emerge from any Nordic small ensemble. It has a wonderful freedom within the structure of its memorable compositions. The disc has that ‘classic album’ feel: it will be listened to again and again, studied by musicians and admired by many.
This is music that captivates, moving all with its strong melodies and driving improvisations. Listen to the moment in the opening track when Alexi Tuomarila fluidly transitions into his improvisation. The energy is pure and uplifting.
This album contains no booklet.