On Friday, March 6th, 2015 the Sellosali concert hall in Leppävaara, Espoo will have a very special visitor:
Infinita, my Finnish-Italian jazz quintet, will be performing music from our much-praised debut CD Time Continuum (2013).
‘The music is often aching, always lyrical and always executed with panache and finesse.’ This is, what All About Jazz-reviewer Anthony Shaw wrote in his four star review.
With all of the great projects I have going on at the moment (see Contemporary Collective and my Brotherhood), Infinita has a special place in my heart.
Infinita continues there, where we left it off with the Platypus Ensemble, when the band disintegrated in 2008.
The Platypus Ensemble and Infinita both are rooted in my 1970’s past, the time when I grew up in Germany listening to the fantastic records that were made for the ECM label: Keith Jarrett’s european quartet with Garbarek, Danielsson and Christensen, Ralph Towner and Oregon, John Abercrombie and Pat Metheny.
While my Contemporary Collective is conquering completely new territory between classical contemporary music, jazz and free improvisation, and while the Brotherhood may be seen as referring to the other great hero of mine, Miles Davis in the late sixties, beginning seventies, Infinita continues my quest for the ideals of chamber jazz, where I’m trying to compose material that allows for intimate conversations between the participating musicians.
This is the ‘Time Continuum’ that the title of our CD is referring to. I am building a bridge between some of the music I heard when I was a teenager, dreaming of becoming a musician, towards the music I composed when I toured Europe with my first great band, and on to the ongoing explorations of my own personal identity as a performer and composer.
The music of Infinita is characterized by a yearning, a longing quality, some call it the nordic melancholy.
Some of my favorite compositions are ‘Canciòn de consuelo’ or ‘Conversations in the ditch’, both are pieces we had played already with the Platypus Ensemble and I arranged and elaborated them for this quintet setting. I consider these pieces like jazz standards, they’re my own standards, by all standards simply beautiful compositions, and I couldn’t just let them sit there in the drawer and move on.
Of course there are also pieces written especially for Infinita and the particular sound of the musicians involved. ‘Dual Layers’ was written for our trumpeter Tero Saarti, conceived and performed at first as a big band composition, but then I adapted the piece for this quintet setting, with Tero kicking and seething his great solo lines.
For the warm and beautiful sound of Massimo Carboni’s tenor saxophone I wrote ‘Hanna‘ and ‘Night shift‘ (both tunes ended up in a film score I wrote around the same time) and I also adapted ‘Leonie’, another Platypus Ensemble staple tune.
The CD itself ‘Time Continuum’ is a kind of time and space warp. We rehearsed in Sardegna, Italy and played a few concerts there, then we recorded the CD in Helsinki and palyed a few concerts there, after which I went up to Oslo to mix the music with Jan Erik Kongshaug at his Rainbow Studio, the very same studio, where many ECM favorites of mine had been recorded.
‘Time Continuum’ also includes (for the first time ever on any of my records) a composition from outside of the band, and it’s no coincidence that it’s ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’, my all-time favorite of the Beatles’ tunes.
All in all, it will be a great and beautiful evening, and I sincerely hope that you will be able to join us.