Saturday, April 7, 2018

Kari Ikonen Trio - Wind, Frost & Radiation (OZELLA MUSIC April 27, 2018)

Meditations on ghost towns and shadowy waltz themes prove: The tradition of the radical break belongs naturally to the jazz understanding of this formation.

Kari Ikonen likes to see the sunny side of life. For example, with his "ultra-positive" Afro-pop jazz project Trio Toffa. As a native Finn, however, winter and dark states of mind are also close to him. Thus, "Wind Frost & Radiation" became a musical search for traces of their own roots, after the Nordic in music. Places of cold and horror, inhumanity and transience - they all form the foundation for the third studio album of the Kari Icons Trio.

It is hardly surprising that there is another turnaround after the bewitching late-night jazz of "Beauteous Tales and Offbeat Stories". The experiment belongs to the recognition features of the trio. So Olli Rantala lets his bass dance in a moment, just to make it sound like a cello in the next one. Markku Ounaskari masters not only an irresistible swing, but also the art of playing drums on the edge of dissolution. Icons themselves have fueled fresh inspiration with the eccentric project "Iconostasis". It goes without saying that it was impossible to create a conventional trio album with this constellation.

How far the band is willing to go on "Wind Frost & Radiation" is shown alongside "Pripyat" - a meditation on the evacuated ghost town near the Chernobyl reactor - a stubborn interpretation of Aram Khachaturian's famous waltz theme. The latter transforms from icons of a whirling dance into a nocturnal world of shadows. The pulse sinks to a glacier-like melting, the music digs deep into the moment, in search of the nerve that hurts the most.

Familiar, however, is the typical for a vinyl LP division into a musically well-defined A- and B-side, with which the Kari icons trio to the classic vinyl era confesses. This is not a contradiction, but only consistent. Because the tradition of radical break belongs naturally to the jazz understanding of this formation.