Friday, June 9, 2017

Joonas Leppänen - Alder Ego (AMP Music & Records 2017)

”Alder ego” is an ensemble created by the 33-year old drummer & composer Joonas Leppänen. It features a group of prime young talents from the buzzing Finnish jazz scene: Jarno Tikka on tenor saxophone, Tomi Nikku on trumpet and Teemu Åkerblom on double bass.

The piano-less concept of the band creates a spacious foundation, where the lucid interplay of trumpet and sax and the subtle harmonics of the bass can roam free.

This creates the unique sound of ”Alder ego”. 

Joonas grew up in the city of Jyväskylä, in central Finland, known for it ́s historic affiliation with jazz and for being a motor in channeling many talented musicians onto the scene. Having spent a great deal of his life abroad (Germany, Sweden and U.S.A) Joonas has developed a great curiosity for the world, drawing inspiration from a myriad of sources, such as the visual arts, literature and contemporary classical composers.

In Joonas own words:

”I like to have visual images or narratives behind every song I compose. For example, Homecoming sort of depicts the feeling of how it feels to return to Finland in November, this is not exactly the sunniest country in the world...”

"The closing track ”Panda” has a heartwarming story behind it. ”My girlfriend likes to dress up in a panda costume when she is really sad, I have actually seen it just once, so maybe that means that she is generally happy with me. That image sort of created the background of the song.” It features the sublime Harri Kuusijärvi on accordion, an instrument deeply associated with the Scandinavian folk music tradition, but as proven here, is also capable of expressing much more.

”A poetic murmuration of birds” was inspired by watching too many youtube videos of starlings flying in large flocks in the sky. It is so subtle how they fly in large formations, and made me think of the quiet force that resides in nature and how it can be a little scary, mysterious and mesmerising at the same time."

All songs composed by Joonas Leppänen, except ”Timelapse” by Alder ego.

1. Homecoming 5:59
2. The Last Dance 4:52
3. Moon 5 5:28
4. Timelapse 2:45
5. Starfish 5:41
6. A Poetic Murmuration Of Birds 6:01
7. Panda 6:12

Jarno Tikka - tenor saxophone 
Tomi Nikku - trumpet and flugelhorn 
Teemu Åkerblom - double bass 
Joonas Leppänen - drums
Harri Kuusijärvi - accordion (track 1 and 7)