Song for a New Decade joins relative newcomer, Finnish saxophonist/composer Mikko Innanen with veteran drummer Andrew Cyrille and bassist William Parker, the latter appearing on the first of the two-disc set. Innanen has won numerous European music awards and though much of his playing and recording has been regional, he has performed with drummer Han Bennink, saxophonists John Tchicai and Chris Speed, guitarist Marc Ducret and bassist Barry Guy. Parker has been leader on more than forty recordings and has a rich history that includes work with Cecil Taylor, Don Cherry and saxophonist David S. Ware. Cyrille's career dates back to Coleman Hawkins and has never slowed down through more than thirty recordings as a leader or co-leader.
Innanen's compositions and trio improvisations occupy the first disc while his six-part live duo set with Cyrille make up disc two. The live set was notably engineered by bassist Max Johnson whose own star is very much on the rise. Opening the studio disc with the title track, Innanen paints a vivid picture of the mixed emotions of his transition to New York, with a palpable sense of displacement, confusion and exhilaration, often coinciding. There's a good amount of diversity on this disc from the loping, easy swing of "Look for the Red Door" to the deep, resonant tranquility of "The End Is a Beginning."
As significant as Parker's contribution is on the first disc, Cyrille is particularly amazing on the duo disc. His musicality and ability to create textures and unimpeded movement are a wonder. Combined with Innanen's use of reeds familiar and obscuresuch as the Uilleann chanterthere is a richness to these six pieces that is fresh and intensely interesting. Innanen and Cyrille build conversations, digress and regroup without posturing.
Throughout Song for a New Decade, Innanen's compositionsand two collaborations with Cyrille and Parkerdemonstrate a resourcefulness that bridges instruments and genres. Elements of blues, hard bop and swing mix comfortably with some very free improvisation. The individual contributions of the players through both technique and invention provide a unique quality to each piece.
CD-1: Song for a New Decade; The End is a Beginning; Karl’s Castle; Look for the Red Door; A Morning, a Day, a Night; See You at 103; Blue in Nublu; Small and Big Steps. CD-2: Song 1; Song 2; Song 3; Song 4; Song 5; Song 6.
Mikko Innanen: alto and baritone saxophones, Indian clarinet, Uilleann chanter, nose flute, whistles, percussion; William Parker: double bass (CD-1 only); Andrew Cyrille: drums.
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