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Iiro Rantala - Potsdam (2022) [Contemporary Jazz, Modern Creative]; FLAC (tracks+.cue)

Chamber Jazz, Improvised Music, Avant-Garde Crossover
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Iiro Rantala - Potsdam (2022) [Contemporary Jazz, Modern Creative]; FLAC (tracks+.cue)

Unread postby Mike1985 » 29 Jan 2024, 07:49

Artist: Iiro Rantala
Album: Potsdam
Genre: Contemporary Jazz, Modern Creative
Label: ACT Music
Released: 2022
Quality: FLAC (tracks+.cue)
  1. Twentytwentyone (Rantala) - 6:18
  2. Time for Rag (Rantala) - 3:46
  3. Peace (Rantala) - 3:52
  4. Can You Be Bob? (Rantala) - 2:59
  5. Freedom (Rantala) - 7:14
  6. Woman (Lennon) - 7:22
  7. November (Rantala) - 5:45
  8. Candide Overture (Bernstein) - 4:57
  9. Somewhere (Bernstein) - 3:47


With memories of Rantala's Trio Töykeät (a group which in the early 2000s was picked up by Blue Note) now disappearing into the sunset, the Finnish piano virtuoso has steadily reinvented himself as “one of the leading European pianists in jazz, classical and pop,” according to the publicity notes accompanying this release. It’s a depiction that makes him appear something of a Jack of All Trades, yet he is an undoubtedly accomplished performer that could excel in any one of those disciplines. When this tri-lateral approach was applied to this recital, recorded live at the famous Nikolaisaal in the city of Potsdam, near Berlin, Rantala’s playing mutated through all three genres, sometimes somewhat disconcertingly all in one tune. In a repertoire of comprising originals plus two Leonard Bernstein compositions, his ease of genre crossing can border on superficiality (‘Time For Rag’ or ‘Can You Be Bob?’, for example), a “Look Ma, no hands” approach at the expense of a singular commitment to a single idiom where true mastery also brings depth.
Review by Stuart Nicholson

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