Ulrich Drechsler Cello Quartet / Iro Haarla Sextet

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Ulrich Drechsler Cello Quartet

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| Ulrich Drechsler Cello Quartet

| Iro Haarla Sextet

Ulrich Drechsler Cello Quartet

Ulrich Drechsler bass clarinet

Rina Kaçinari cello

Christoph Unterberger cello

Jörg Mikula drums

Ulrich Drechsler loves those low and semi-low sounds. In his new quartet, he surrounds himself with two celli and a drumset, while he himself favours the bass clarinet. His lines’ energetic elegance rests on the intensive study of Thelonious Monk, to whom he dedicated his 2004 album The Monk In All Of Us. The irresistible attraction of Drechsler’s songs not leastly harks back to the fact that as a nine-year-old, he played the clarinet in the marching band of his hometown. The dark, yet never gloomy sound of his Cello Quartet is absolutely unfamiliar in the jazz context. Nordic planes of sound encounter oriental ornaments, Balkan romanticism clashes with the modernism of a Viennese café, Mozart’s playful ease dissolves into Dolphy’s thoughtful complexity.

“Elegant and quiet chamber jazz. Drechsler has switched from saxophone to bass clarinet, and this shapes the soundscape. Drawing beautiful melodic lines with such a rough instrument brings about a contrast resulting in a touching vulnerability. Drechsler has full command of the instrument. He treats tonality and song-like qualities in ways that brings lightness without tipping into soggy easy listening.”
Vårt Land/NO

Iro Haarla Sextet

“Music, like life a as a whole, is for me interaction among extremes: light – darkness, calm – storm, joy – sorrow. The extraordinary beauty of nature is one of my unfailing sources of inspiration.” Composer, pianist and harpist Iro Haarla always put aside her own ambitions for the benefit of her husband Edvard Vesala’s, whose musical interior architect she was considered to be. In 1986, she made an appearance on his album Lumi. Not until four years after Vesala’s death she released her 2003 debut trio-album Heart of a Bird, followed one year later by the quintet release Northbound on ECM – a recording hard to beat for its Nordic transfiguration, a monument full of melancholy and yearning.

It is only a wild guess, but perhaps a glimpse into the exuberant schedule book of both Norwegian regulars’ Mathias Eick and Trygve Seim would be sufficient to explain Haarla’s step towards an all Finnish line-up. At the frontline, we have trumpeter Verneri Pohjola whose album Aurora mightily enthused Nils Landgren last year, saxophonist Heinilä who, back at home is only called ‘Sonny’ and, with Jari Hongisto, a free spirit on the trombone.

Ulrich Drechsler Cello Quartet

Ulrich Drechsler bass clarinet
Rina Kaçinari cello
Christoph Unterberger cello
Jörg Mikula drums

Iro Haarla Sextet

Iro Haarla piano, harp
Verneri Pohjola trumpet
Kari ‘Sonny’ Heinilä saxophones
Jari Hongisto trombone
Ulf ‘Uffe’ Krokfors bass
Mika Kallio drums