Tuomo Uusitalo receives a stirring review from jazz journalist Susan Frances’, Jazz2Love

by Susan Frances

Album Review: Stories From Here And There from Tuomo Uusitalo

Album:  Stories From Here And There
Artist:  Tuomo Uusitalo
Label:  Fresh Sound New Talent
Website:  www.tuomouusitalo.comChamber music and improvisation are sauteed in jazz dressing on Tuomo Uusitalo’s latest release Stories From Here and There.  The pianist-songwriter leads the quartet along multiple musical segments, exploring the sonic range and flexibility of the individual instruments and the various entanglements they form.  Track after track, the compositions illuminate a ballroom glow.  Some numbers display a soft glisten like “Solitude” and others delve deeper into abstract and avant garde terrain illustrated by the rustle and scramble of Uusitalo’s keys making random scrolls across “Between Things” like a prospector on the trail of a goldmine.

Exhibiting an ingenuity for composing off-the-cuff sequences, Uusitalo has a propensity for making his random meanders sound melodic while keeping in harmony with the rest of the arrangement played by saxophonist Chris Cheek, bassist Myles Sloniker, and drummer Itay Morchi .  His talent for structuring patterns with the piano keys demonstrates his leaning for animated movements and vivacious shifts. For instance, “Bouncing with Bud” is full of lively expressions, a tribute to Bud Powell.  Perceptively, the ballroom feel of “Tonight You Belong To Me” has a nostalgic vibe, enhanced  by the sensitive wails of Chris Cheek’s saxophone, which contrast the up and down fluctuations in the instrumentation wobbling along “Many Mornings.”

Each track stands alone, making explorations autonomous from one another.  Uusitalo plays what he hears in his head, some of which is likely influenced by compositions that he has known and liked.  The recording documents his explorations, developing one segment at time.  The spontaneity taking place in the creations can be explained as being magical with jazz being the mechanism by which Uusitalo crafts infinite possibilities.

Musicians:
Tuomo Uusitalo – piano
Chris Cheek – saxophone
Myles Sloniker – bass
Itay Morchi – drums

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