May 5 2016
The second installment of a four-part series of duets, Dialogues II has saxophonist Joakim Berghäll switching from conversations with Finnish pianists to guitarists from his homeland: Olli Haavisto, Janne Halonen, Jussi Jaakonaho, Kalle Kalima, Timo Kämäräinen, Marzi Nyman, Jukka Orma, Markus Pesonen, Jarmo Saari and Teemu Viinikainen.
As one might imagine, the forms of expression range all over the place, and this is one time where met expectations don’t dampen the excitement of the experience. The swirling rapture of dissonance on his duet with Markus Pesonen leads delightfully to the storybook changes of a duet with Teemu Viinikainen. Berghäll’s tenor sax on the former accentuates the edge and his use of soprano on the latter enhances the dreamy lyricism.
The upbeat dancing motion of the duet with Jarmo Saari and rock n’ roll edge of the duet with Marzi Nyman provide nice balance with those collaborations that lead more to contemplation like Berghäll’s duets with pedal steel guitarist Olli Haavisto and the album’s closing track “Absence” with Jussi Jaakonaho. And on an album with all kinds of lovely surprises, none resonates greater than the haunting Frisellian sound captured by the duet with Kalle Kalima.
It’s remarkable how distinct each track is one from the other while still sounding part of the same focused recording. It’s an album overflowing with strong characteristics, but never to the point where the qualities of one eclipse those of other, subtler tones.
In addition to the piano-themed first album and this guitar-themed sophomore release, the third installment has been hinted as having a world music theme, with the fourth still under wraps. In the meantime, definitely scoop this one up. I’m really thrilled with this recording and can’t get enough of it.
Your album personnel: Joakim Berghäll (alto, soprano, tenor & baritone saxes, bass clarinet) and Olli Haavisto, Janne Halonen, Jussi Jaakonaho, Kalle Kalima, Timo Kämäräinen, Marzi Nyman, Jukka Orma, Markus Pesonen, Jarmo Saari and Teemu Viinikainen (guitars).
Released on Eclipse Music.
Listen to more album tracks at the label’s Bandcamp page.
Jazz from Finland.