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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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on 3 June 2013
There was a very strong likelihood that the Finnish pianist Alexi Tuomarila could have become a professional tennis player had he not discovered Miles Davis and gone on to study in Brussels where he won many prizes. In Alexi's sparkling fingering I detect that those piano equivalents of tennis essentials - gracefulness, nimble footwork, sensitivity to the moment and delicacy of touch - are in use here in abundance. I imagine a Roger Federer performance, no pressure visible, footwork (or fingers) skimming the ground. When Alexi's career hit a dark patch, titles such as Bone Yard Jive and My Dark Hours hint at the desolation within but now, on Edition Records, he returns to dazzling sunlight with this beautiful album.

He is joined by Mats Eilertsen on bass (Tord Gustavsen Trio and Mats' own bands, most recently on the exquisite Sails Set) and Olavi Louhivuori on drums (leader of Oddarrang amongst other excellent projects), and on a couple of tracks by Portuguese guitar player André Fernandes.

There are very strong melodies, some hymn-like (Miss), others have a Monk-tinge (Visitor Q), all demonstrate perfect understanding between this trio. The guitar seems to be used (on Prologue and Ceremony) to set up tension,the drums contorted like thunder, but always the piano brings us back to serenity. On Jibeinia, we have the delicate tracery of an extinct fossil bird, a feathered dinosaur set out in Mats' bass, the piano wistfully trilling a possible call for this long-gone creature.

All the tracks are standout. but I must draw attention to Cyan by Olavi where the trio is at its most etheral. It could be a lullaby for a sleepy child or the remembrance of a perfect summer day, the drums are like rustling silk.

I saw Alexi with this trio at Warwick Arts Centre in January 2013. We can only hope Alexi tours the UK later this year, more people need to experience his sublimely contemplative intensity for themselves. Game, Set and Match to Mr Tuomarila.
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on 20 July 2014
This may be unfair to give this only one star - but only one track was downloaded onto my Kindle, so I haven't got a lot to go on. I feel cheated.
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on 2 January 2014
I had the pleasure of hearing two of these musicians playing with Tomasz Stanko's "Dark Eyes" band a few years ago. That was a combo that seemed to have more mileage in it so it's great to hear at least two of the band doing new stuff together - leader Alexi Tuomarila on piano and Olavi Louhivuori on drums, accompanied by Mats Eilertsen on bass.

I generally reckon it's OK when the first track immediately pulls you into the album. That's true here - "Seven Hills" is a pretty straightforward tune with a melodic catch that just grabs your attention somehow. The tunes that follow are pretty easy listening if you're already a fan of, say, Marcin Wasilewski or the ECM style. There are no particular stand-outs, but just a lot of fine playing that hangs together as an album really nicely. The two slightly different tracks actually feature the album's recording engineer, Andre Fernandes, making it a quartet on guitar - and a good job he makes of it too. They could give some serious thought to making that a full-time band.

I've reviewed elsewhere that we live in something of a Golden Age for piano trios. Here is more proof if it were needed. If you already like that format, treat yourself to this. If you need an introduction to the form in one of its modern incarnations then you could do much worse than start off by giving this a listen. I'm looking forward to the next....
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on 17 October 2013
Heard this on Radio 3 on the 23.00 hrs show.

Really good clarity on what I guess is a concert pitch piano with great balanced support from drums and double bass.

A great relaxing listen
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on 3 January 2014
I bought this one based on a glowing review in a newspaper. Of course, this is my mistake, which reminds me in future to listen before I buy anything of an artist of whom I have been previously unaware. This CD is rather intense and not very easy on the ear.
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on 13 August 2013
Dunno why this is only 99p !!!. An excellent piano trio album (NOT cocktail lounge) well worth full price let along a bargain price
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