Alexi Tuomarila Trio: Sphere

Roger Farbey By

Sign in to view read count
Alexi Tuomarila Trio: Sphere
Sphere is Alexi Tuomarila's follow-up to Kingdom (Edition, 2017) and Seven Hills (Edition, 2017). But the Finnish pianist has also collaborated with many of jazz's leading lights including Kenny Wheeler, Joey Baron, Jim Black, Bill Evans and Peter Erskine. Tuomarila also appeared on Dark Eyes by the Tomasz Stanko Quintet (ECM, 2010).

Sphere 's opener is the attention-grabbing "Shapeshifter," where Tuomarila plays a fast-paced contrapuntal theme with bass and drums shadowing the swirling piano. "Jord" introduces guest trumpeter Verneri Pohjola, whose dynamic contribution adds a totally new dimension of depth whilst still retaining a sense of space.

Tuomarilo's piano leads on the ruminative "Sirius," with Mats Eilertsen's plaintive pizzicato bass in close pursuit. But here the percussive element is almost imperceptible, so it's effectively a duet. "Boekloev" is unalloyed rhythmic jazz but with the benefit of both a riffy bass line and more of Pohjola's shimmering trumpet. The elegant "Unfold" again sees another virtual duet between bass and piano, but in fact Olavi Louhivuori does add some subtle, brushed drumming, the understated nature of which is crucial.

Pohjola makes one final elegiac appearance on the angular "Krakow," and in between the opening and closing melody lines, his trumpet's short stabbing notes punctuate the piece. On the finale "Celeste," Tuomarila weaves stately, bell-like lines around resonant bass and terse drums. The piano lines evolve with graceful, fluid extemporisation before gently returning to the opening theme. This is a fine and satisfying album where Tuomarila's trio seems to have coalesced into one articulate, comfortable unit.

Track Listing

Shapeshifter; Jord; Origins; Sirius; Boekloev; Unfold; Krakow; Celeste.


Alexi Tuomarila: piano; Mats Eilertsen: double bass; Olavi Louhivuori: drums; Verneri Pohjola: trumpet (2, 3, 7).

Album information

Title: Sphere | Year Released: 2019 | Record Label: Edition Records

Post a comment about this album



Shop Amazon


Sone Ka-la 2: Odyssey
Jacques Schwarz-Bart
Da Fé
Dan Blake
Dream Disobedience
Elisabeth Harnik / Michael Zerang
It's My Turn
The Echo Park Project


All About Jazz needs your support

All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.