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Mikko Innanen: Autonomus I - XXX

Anthony Shaw By

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Mikko Innanen has been a prolific saxophonist on the Finnish scene for so long that one can no longer refer to him as any sort of new boy in town. But with the passing of the years there have been changes of focus and style, and the release of the album Autonomus sees a new experimental style, which puts Innanen back in the position of a new aspirant on the block.

The change from his former principle band is dramatic. Since working with two bassists, two drummers and a host of assorted brass and reeds, Innanen here has cut back his ensemble to include now just four players. The music itself is reminiscent of Albert Ayler, more experimental than all but his recordings with the Finnish trio PLOP, and over the course of the three CDs included here there is not a single tune (there are 45 in all) with a name more than four characters long.

Innanen's compositional approach was experimental and unscripted, but based around a series of hand-drawn, stave-orientated sketches that he had produced over recent years. His collaborators, Håvard Wiik on piano, Antti Lotjonen on bass and Peter Bruun on drums are all experienced in the format, and complement their leader's dexterity on his full range of saxophones. Tunes are normally between three and four minutes long, with a few extended tracks. Often, graphically—and possibly thematically—related pieces are spread across the separate discs, complicating any efforts at comparison but contributing to an even variety between the discs.

In fact the division between the three discs seems to be arbitrary, with the 30 pieces ranging from ecstatic to soporific, and spread evenly across all three. As Innanen himself states, "in music, as in life, you need to find a balance between beautiful and ugly, cerebral and carnal, sacred and profane, fun and serious." This selection shows Innanen's and his partners' skills in creating a panoply of intense musical sketches as abstract as the graphics they are inspired by. The tasteful folded packaging by Fiasko Records, not to mention the quality recording, is an added bonus.

Track Listing

I A, I B, II, III A et al.

Personnel

Mikko Innanen: saxophones; Håvard Wiik: piano; Antti Lötjönen: bass; Peter Bruun: drums.

Additional information

Title: Autonomus I - XXX | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Fiasko Records

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