Love Song (Digipack)
  • Tuomo Uusitalo Tuomo Uusitalo
  • Tivon Pennicott Tivon Pennicott
  • Myles Sloniker Myles Sloniker
  • Itay Morchi Itay Morchi

Tuomo Uusitalo

Love Song (Digipack)

Fresh Sound New Talent

Personnel:
Tuomo Uusitalo (p), Tivon Pennicott (ts), Myles Sloniker (b), Itay Morchi (d)

Reference: FSNT-506

Bar code: 8427328435062

Tracklisting:
01. Pannonica (Thelonious Monk) 5:09
02. Long Ago and far Away (Jerome Kern) 5:01
03. I Keep Going Back to Joe’s (Jack Segal) 7:35
04. Untitled (Tuomo Uusitalo) 4:34
05. Just in Time (Jules Styne) 7:43
06. Love Song (Tuomo Uusitalo) 4:31
07. There’s a Small Hotel (Rogers-Hart) 6:01
08. A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square (Manning Sherwin) 5:02
09. Benji’s Grip (Tuomo Uusitalo) 5:55
10. Lullaby (Tuomo Uusitalo) 1:20

Personnel:
Tuomo Uusitalo (piano), Tivon Pennicott (tenor sax on #3,7 & 9), Myles Sloniker (bass), Itay Morchi (drums).
Recorded at Acoustic Recording Studios, New York City, September 8 & 9, 2015

Sound engineer: Michael Brorby
Photography & design: Una Stade

Produced by Tuomo Uusitalo

Executive producer: Jordi Pujol
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Reviews:

"Pianist, composer, and educator Tuomo Uusitalo—born in Finland and, since 2012, a resident fixture of the New York City jazz scene—offers up something special in Love Song, his second album as leader. Special, not only because with it Uusitalo has rewritten his name into the ledger of modern jazz in flowing script, but also because he has come more maturely into his own as an improviser. For while we can still count on the virtuosity that distinguished his debut, here Uusitalo tempers that virtuosity in the furnace of life. Joined by newer bandmates Myles Sloniker on bass and Itay Morchi on drums, Uusitalo expands on the trio dynamics of this album's predecessor with the addition of tenor saxophonist Tivon Pennicott. Pennicott paints with fresh colors on three tracks, including a fluid unraveling of the Rodgers and Hart tune "There's A Small Hotel" and the show-stealing "Benji's Group." The latter is one of four Uusitalo originals featured in the set list, each embodying a facet of his artistic evolution. From the delightful title track to the piano solo "Lullaby," on which the album bids a reflective good night, Uusitalo emotes through sometimes-abstract denouements, by which he humanizes every note. Even the dreamier "Untitled," by far the album's most atmospheric tune, feels prouder of its blemishes than perfections, for the former abide by variations of experience.

Indeed, Uusitalo has always been one to keep things real through his penchant for dissonance and unexpected turns of phrase. He wastes no effort in glossing over potholes, so to speak, thereby allowing full appreciation of the road. The astute listener can be sure, then, that when his right hand is working its lyrical light, his left is touting the shadows trailed by its obstruction. It's a dynamic ardently established in the album's opener, "Pannonica." Uusitalo's take on this classic Thelonious Monk enterprise further boasts the talents of this rhythm section, as Sloniker and Morchi look past the polish of over-interpretation and into the heart of whatever is put in front of them. Whether in the fluent drumming of Jerome Kern's "Long Ago And Far Away" or nimble bassing of the standard "Just In Time," both musicians hop, skip, and jump their way through the changes without ever getting in each other's way. As with Uusitalo's commanding lead in "A Nightingale Sang In Berkeley Square," they balance classic impulses with modern execution.

The end result is a letter to the listener, signed, sealed, and delivered in the name of love—both for jazz, and those who love it in return."

Tyran Grillo (September 19, 2016)
https://www.allaboutjazz.com
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"This month, pianist Tuomo Uusitalo’s trio celebrates the release of Love Song, a work of clear and quiet intensity and his second CD as a leader.

Tuomo’s compositions and standards repertoire employ a wide variation of color and density and free improvisation weaves in and out of his work. In his trio’s rehearsals, broad, conceptual conversations play predominantly. Tuomo says, “In rehearsal we play something and then talk about whether it was musical or not. How did it serve the purpose we wanted it to? We hear different perspectives from each player,” he says. “You might even consider just talking before the gig to be a ‘rehearsal.’”

A native of Finland, Tuomo’s CD is a document of changes in his musicianship during his time in New York. “It’s a good image of how I sound, and the direction in which I want to go,” he explains. His CD release set will include works from the record, new compositions and standards."

Nathan Kamal (August, 2016)
http://hothousejazz.com/blog
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"Del jazz made-in-Finland la testata si è occupata piuttosto estensivamente, tentando di tracciarne un identikit formale, rilevando tra i numerosi artisti esaminati come non tutti fossero sempre impegnati nella citazione dei propri materiali folklorici così come nella convergenza alle forme jazz dominanti nell'area.

Sembra confermare queste ultime considerazioni il giovane talento da Tampere, di formazione europea ed uso agli incontri sulle scene del vecchio continente, ma stabilitosi operativamente entro il tessuto newyorkese, di cui sembra aver utilmente assimilato le più riconoscibili logiche, sia pure entro una (ri)lettura privata, tenendosi insomma alquanto distante dagli stilemi nu-jazz dell'area baltico-scandinava, quanto ben più affine alle ritualità da club della East Coast.

Alla seconda prova da leader con il presente Love Song, Tuomo Uusitalo rinnova la line-up per ri-conformare la propria idea del piano trio, lungo soluzioni comprese e corroborate dall'impegno partecipe e robusto del batterista Itay Morchi e del bassista Myles Sloniker, cui s'associa in tre tracks il sax tenore di Tivon Pennicott, d'arioso interventismo di caldo carattere mainstream.

Dalle astute dissonanze nella starter, autografa Pannonica alle swinganti pulsioni di Long Ago And Far Away (da Jerome Kern), i tratti peculiari si definiscono ulteriormente nel senso melodico imbandito sulla tela grezza, dalle movimentate trame, dell'arguta Untitled così come dell'ondivaga Love Song (che di questo sentimento espone però una visione ben poco serena), giungendo a pacificata solennità nella liricheggiante gemma A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square, e nell'epilogo centrando il tema della cullante, solistica Lullaby, che dell'intonazione non sempre cristallina (come è ricorrente, e non casuale, nel corso del lavoro) fa atipico valore aggiunto alla fraseologia del pianista.

Certamente collocato a valle delle correnti post-evansiane (e rimarcando il forte scarto generazionale), il pianismo di Tuomo vi naviga con il carico flottante, ma non sempre leggero, del senso austero dell'armonia, sottilmente contrapposto all'istintiva devianza, captabile ben più che in filigrana: senza particolari indugi possiamo associarci alle ottime valutazioni già espresse su questo lavoro, materia concreta per l'ascolto e ben amministrati spunti innovativi."

Aldo del Noce (September 27, 2016)
http://www.jazzconvention.net
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Price:

$12.04  (tax incl.)

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