Duos from the UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra are presenting a programme of eight compositions, including both well-known jazz standards and brand-new music. Seppo Kantonen on piano will be joined by brilliant soloists Kasperi Sarikoski (trombone), Manuel Dunkel (tenor saxophone), Tero Saarti (trumpet) and Jouni Järvelä (alto saxophone).
UMO Helsinki has always boasted superb solo prowess, and this is further highlighted in its stripped-down duo performances in which the soloist’s playing stands out. These performances also enable the musician’s own sound and interpretation to find new forms of expression. Equally noteworthy is the fact that the repertoire includes compositions by the soloists themselves – Jouni Järvelä’s “Coronation Blues” was composed just one day before it was recorded!
UMO Helsinki Goes Duo is an interesting musical event that offers musicians a lot of freedom while underscoring the mutual confidence between the two performers. The freedom in these duo performances can be heard in their especially strong interpretations and cunning surprises.
“When playing in a duo, the most important and challenging task of the pianist is to be both solid for the soloist while encouraging surprises – both harmonically and rhythmically. It’s a lot of fun!”
– Seppo Kantonen
The duo performances have come about as a result of the restrictions on social gatherings imposed in order to combat the spread of coronavirus. Since it was no longer safe for the 16-piece big band to perform together, the orchestra immediately began planning remote recordings and video sessions. The orchestra was also keen to publish music as fast as possible, which led to the idea of intimate duo performances.
The pieces were recorded and filmed at the UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra’s rehearsal space at Kaapelitehdas on Friday 20 March. UMO Helsinki’s drummer Markus Ketola was in charge of recording and mixing, while the orchestra’s producer Valtteri Pokela was responsible for filming and editing.
1. Chelsea Bridge (comp. Billy Strayhorn)
2. Crazeology (comp. Benny Harris)
Kasperi Sarikoski, trombone & Seppo Kantonen, piano
3. There Is No Greater Love (comp. Isham Jones)
4. It´s Easy to Remember (comp. Richard Rodgers)
Manuel Dunkel, tenor saxophone & Seppo Kantonen, piano
5. Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered (comp. Richard Rodgers)
6. Our Place (comp. Tero Saarti)
Tero Saarti, trumpet & Seppo Kantonen, piano
7. Jerome Kern Keeps Busy (comp. Jouni Järvelä)
8. Coronation Blues (comp. Jouni Järvelä)
Jouni Järvelä, alto saxophone & Seppo Kantonen, piano
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