Excerpts from "Kari Ikonen & Karikko: The Helsinski Suite"
The album was nominated for Teosto Award for its compositions!
Kari Ikonen - piano, rhodes, moog
Sonny Heinilä - flute, alto flute, tenor saxophone
Laurent Blondiau - trumpet, flugelhorn
Vincent Courtois - cello
Ulf Krokfors - double bass
Mika Kallio - drums
”I'm impressed. Ikonen’s overall vision is powerful and unique. This recording (The Helsinski Suite), to my ears is exquisite, mysterious, mystical, sensitive, strange, funny, subtle, reflective and beautifully played with each musician displaying great tone and feeling at the highest level. Bravo!!" -Bob Moses
"The Helsinski Suite is some of the finest music I have heard on cd for a really long time!” -Jazznytt (NOR)
”The combination of cello, trumpet and flute was an unusual but inspired choice, and it gave Karikko a sound all its own.” -All About Jazz (USA)
"No, this is too strong for my conventional taste" -Orkesterjournalen (SWE)
"Karikko provided the very challenge we hope to get from jazz, and matched the austerity of the music with a new, utterly distinct kind of beauty." -Rochester City Newspaper (USA)
For more than a decade, the Finnish pianist and composer Kari Ikonen has developed his compositional voice through his ensemble Karikko. Ikonen deploys Karikko’s instrumental and improvisational possibilities almost as if he were composing for an orchestra, creating a style that balances elegance and intimacy with boldness and expansiveness. Vibrant, swinging rhythmic elements pulse through his music at all times, in dialogue with the lyrical voicings and rich colours of the ensemble passages.
The 38-year-old Ikonen has studied piano performance and composition in Finland, most notably at the Sibelius Academy, as well as abroad at the Rotterdam Conservatory. His debut album, Karikko (Fiasko Records), won the Emma (Finland’s Grammy) for the Year’s Best Jazz Album in 2001. In addition to writing for Karikko, he also regularly composes works for a range of occasions and ensembles, such as for the Finnish radio big band, UMO. His compositions have been honoured internationally, taking first prize in the Julius Hemphill Composition Awards and in the Italian Scrivere in Jazz.
Ikonen is also an active member of various ensembles. He plays the piano in his own trio and the art-song/jazz-vocal ensemble Ahava. He also experiments with synthesizers and electronics in the electro-acoustic improvisation trio Gnomus, Markus Holkko Quartet and Sanni Orasmaa's Slo Motive.
Interpreting Karikko’s detailed and diverse compositions requires versatile and imaginative collaborators. After a decade of line-up changes, Ikonen has now assembled the definitive Karikko ensemble. In addition to his own ensembles, the French cellist Vincent Courtois has collaborated extensively with the likes of Louis Sclavis, Michel Portal, Yves Robert and Rabih Abou Khalil. Gothenburg-based trumpeter Staffan Svensson has been heard frequently in concerts and on more than 50 albums with musicians like Anders Jormin, Bobo Stenson, Palle Danielsson, Jon Balke and Jon Cristensen. Bassist Ulf Krokfors is known for his work with Edward Vesala, Jarmo Savolainen Trio and Raoul Björkenheim’s Krakatau. Nowadays he can be heard in the bands of Iro Haarla and Juhani Aaltonen. Saxophonist and flutist Sonny Heinilä has pursued his own musical path, as a sideman to the likes of Edward Vesala and Jarmo Savolainen, and in his own projects, such as Tribus with Anders Jormin. Mika Kallio adds his exceptional ear for texture and colour to numerous groups, most notably Gnomus, Gourmet, the Sébastien Boisseau Unit, as well as in bands led by the guitarist Raoul Björkenheim or the saxophonist Juhani Aaltonen.
Recordings: Karikko (Fiasko 2001), Oceanophonic (Texicalli 2008) and The Helsinski Suite (Eclipse 2011).
Contact: Kari Ikonen firstname.lastname@example.org +358 40 51 30 395 soundcloud.com/kari-ikonen
Booking: Annika Westman www.westmanmusic.com email@example.com +46 46 14 55 23
Get the cd: <a href="http://www.eclipse-music.net" rel="nofollow" target="_blank">http://www.eclipse-music.net</a>/