Mikko Innanen sopranino, alto and baritone saxophone, oboe | Cedric Piromalli Hammond organ | Stefan Pasborg drums
+ Lori Freedman voice on Pratsch & Who Nation-State Isn’t
An organ trio like no other, Finnish saxophonist Mikko Innanen, Danish drummer Stefan Pasborg and French Hammond hero Cédric Piromalli are back to twist traditions and confound conventions.
Following on from their gloriously impish Clean Feed debut, 2021’s This Is It, comes the uber-fusion feast of Can You Hear It?, an album giving the eminent Blue Note histories of Jimmy Smith, Brother Jack McDuff and Larry Young an extra adrenaline hit, Piromalli souping up the keys for extracurricular soul-fusion kicks and spacing out like Sun Ra hammering the hyperdrive on an interstellar love mission.
These three funky trailblazers sit at the top table of their respective scenes, boasting a combined rap sheet of revered co-conspirators that reads like a heavenly who’s-who, the names of those they have worked with including Andrew Cyrille, Han Bennink, William Parker, Wadada Leo Smith, Paul Lovens, Will Guthrie, Tim Berne and Tomasz Stańko. All that combined experience and knowledge is filtered through into the deft chicanery of Can You Hear It?, its nine contrasting cuts finding Innanen, Pasborg and Piromalli at the peak of their expressive powers, effortlessly shifting from muscular swing and riotous retro-futurist vamp to doleful sci-fi séance and poignant balladry in a heartbeat.
During one of her two spoken-word cameos featured on the album, Canadian clarinettist and improviser Lori Freedman acts as the group’s surrogate voice piece, accompanied by Innanen’s passionately chirruping sopranino and Pasborg’s thudding percussive detonations. “Who are we? / Where do we come from? / What do we do? How do we do? / How do we do it?”, she asks in a natty flow of enquiry doubling as a statement of intangible intent, a suitably defiant anti-manifesto from one of the most intrepid, shape-shapeshifting triumvirates active in jazz today.
Lyrics to “Pratsch” and “Who Nation-State Isn’t” by Mikko Innanen
Recorded on July 26th, 2022 in E-Studio, Sipoo, Finland by Jyri Riikonen | Mixed and mastered by Matthieu Metzger at Studio des Résistants, Poitiers, France
Produced by Innanen Pasborg Piromalli | Executive production by Pedro Costa for Trem Azul | Design by Travassos