Fighting darkness with mystic harmonies and swinging rhythms Kari Ikonen has entered the major league of the pianotrio- format.
Finland is not exactly a country known for its joie de vivre. For pianist Kari Ikonen, however, the luminous, vivid sounds and upbeat songs of Bright are an empathetic counterpoint to the mostly dark look on life of his compatriots. A dream-team collaboration with double bassist Ara Yaralyan and drummer Markku Ounaskaris, Bright fuses some of the tastiest ingredients of European jazz-cuisine with filleted afro-american influences (John Coltrane’s “Giant Steps”) and spicy transoriental vibes (including Armenian folk songs), taking the classic jazz piano trio into remarkable new directions. Infusing mystic harmonies with a meditative calm, these are forward-looking improvisations – without ever sacrificing the fragile balance between Ikonen’s compositional aspirations and individual freedom for the performers.