Trumpet player Martti Vesala clearly loves the jazz of the 60s and 70s – melodic without being too easy, funky and yet relaxed, filled to the brim with gripping grooves and ripping solos. Little wonder, then, that legendary jazz publication Downbeat recently compared him to Miles Davis. And yet, thanks to Vesala’s drive, passion and virtuosity Stars Aligned feels perfectly contemporary.
The instantly recognisable production of the album, somewhere between vintage and entirely up to date sound design, was sculpted by star producer Miikka Huttunen, highly respected for a string of successful Finnish releases from pop to jazz. Astoundingly, all eight minutely detailed arrangements of Stars Aligned were taped in a mere three days. After the debut album featured a subtle and almost chambermusical sound, his latest full-length now turns towards something more epic and majestic – a clear sign that the Soundpost Quintet enjoys priority in Vesala’s work today.
Although the trumpet takes center stage in all of these pieces, Stars Aligned is foremost the triumph of a tightly playing ensemble, which has only recently finetuned its on-stage-communication on a major tour through Finland. For 2018, the rest of the world is now on Vesala’s radar, as he’s looking forward to sharing his love for the sound of his distant home, the music that is spinning in his head all day – no matter where he’s coming from, regardless where he may be headed.