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Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

ALBUM REVIEW

Iro Haarla: Around Again: The Music Of Carla Bley

Read "Around Again: The Music Of Carla Bley" reviewed by Troy Dostert

Longstanding piano-bass tandem Iro Haarla and Ulf Krokfors team up with drummer Barry Altschul for Around Again, a reverent and eminently rewarding tribute to Carla Bley. All three musicians possess a deep familiarity with Bley's work. Haarla's dates from her earliest conservatory studies at Finland's Sibelius Academy in the 1970s, while Altschul played on Paul Bley's magnificent Closer (ESP, 1965), itself a record built around Carla's compositions. Krokfors actually came up with the idea for Around Again as he was ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Iro Haarla: Ante Lucem for Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Quintet

Read "Ante Lucem for Symphony Orchestra and Jazz Quintet" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Finnish pianist/harpist/composer Iro Haarla devoted the early part of her career to the music of her then-husband, the late drummer/composer Edward Vesala. On her own she has released two quintet albums on ECM: Northbound (2005) and Vespers (2010). That quintet (with a couple of personnel substitutions) is integrated into an extended composition with symphony orchestra on Ante Lucem. Trumpeter Hayden Powell (in place of Mathias Eick) and saxophonist Trygve Seim are on the front line, joined by double bassist Ulf ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Iro Haarla Sextet: Kolibri

Read "Kolibri" reviewed by John Sharpe

On Kolibri, Finnish pianist Iro Haarla brings together four mainstays of the country's improvised music scene, along with rising trumpet star Verneri Pohjola, in an outfit which sits mid way between a small group and a big band in terms of its capabilities. It's an accomplished unit. All six were part of the TUMO agglomeration which partnered trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith on Occupy The World (TUM Records, 2013), while four of the older generation were part of celebrated drummer Edward ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Iro Haarla Sextet: Kolibri

Read "Kolibri" reviewed by Eyal Hareuveni

Finnish Pianist-composer Iro Haarla's compositions for her sextet emphasize her aim to reach a different, larger sound than the sound of her Finnish-Norwegian quintet (Northbound and Vespers, both on ECM, 2006 and 2011). This sextet is comprised of top Finnish musicians who collaborated closely with her in the past and began to work as the sextet in 2009. Its three-horn front line sound, as captured on Kolibri (the Finnish word for hummingbird), enables Haarla to use complex arrangements, rhythmic diversity ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Iro Haarla Sextet: Kolibri

Read "Kolibri" reviewed by Dan McClenaghan

Finnish pianist Iro Haarla has expanded her customary quintet approach--trumpet, saxophone and rhythm section--with the addition of a third horn, Jari Hongisto's trombone, on Kolibri. The sextet is composed of some of Finland's most dynamic improvisors, and Haarla has given these vibrant artists the space to move the music in their own individual directions within the framework she has laid down.From the first notes of the opener, “Nightjar," the music--spacious, minimalist in Haarlas' piano part, and initially featuring ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Iro Haarla Quintet: Vespers

Read "Vespers" reviewed by John Kelman

It's been six years since Iro Haarla released Northbound (ECM)--while not her actual debut as a leader, certainly her first with international exposure--an album of remarkable beauty that cemented the Finnish pianist/harpist/composer's position as the silent voice behind the music of her late husband, drummer Edward Vesala. There's no denying the import of Vesala's work for ECM, beginning with 1976's Nan Madol--truly a momentous album that spoke, in cinematic terms, of the landscape and culture of Finland--but, equally, a fundamental ...

LIVE REVIEW

The Iro Haarla Quintet at Scandinavia House

Read "The Iro Haarla Quintet at Scandinavia House" reviewed by Budd Kopman

The Iro Haarla Quintet at Scandinavia House, NYCScandinavia HouseNew York City, New YorkJune 16, 2008 There were not one but two reasons to be excited about attending this concert at Scandinavia House on this night. Pianist/harpist/composer Iro Haarla had never before played in New York City, so this was a first for her as well as her admirers. The second was that the music played was entirely from her debut album on ECM, Northbound ...


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