Alexi Tuomarila: Kingdom

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COMPOSERS: Alexi Tuomarila
LABELS: Edition
ALBUM TITLE: Alexi Tuomarila
WORKS: Kingdom
PERFORMER: Alexi Tuomarila (piano), Mats Eilertsen (double bass), Olavi Louhivuori (drums)


The regeneration of the piano trio began around the turn of the century, but reputations often seemed to flower from factors bearing little relation to the fundamental virtues of the genre: for example, a preponderance of elements imported from rock, additional instruments or electronics. Nothing necessarily wrong with these, but it is refreshing to hear a trio like this, developing the tradition while staying within its broad constraints.

Kingdom marks pianist Alexi Tuomarila’s settling back in Helsinki, his home town. Each trio member contributed some compositions (there’s also a Bob Dylan piece) and each carries pretty much equal weight. As we tend to expect these days, this is a trio with a pianist, not a pianist with two accompanists. Bassist Eilertsen often takes the melodic lead, while Tuomarila weaves undulating ostinato piano textures around him, and drummer Louhivuori creates dancing patterns that have their own melodic aspects. Especially attractive are Tuomarila’s glittering voicings and choice of register.


Barry Witherden