Tõnu Naissoo Electric Trio

Different Directions

Frotee • 2022

Years in advance once again, Estonian jazz pianist Tõnu Naissoo booked the basement studio of the venerable Linnahall in Tallinn in 2019 to create a sound that he had been chasing for a long time: vital synthesiser jazz, lasered with fusion shots and super-smooth grooves which have not only been setting the tone in the entire Baltic jazz scene, but also in Scandinavia, and not just since yesterday. The genre takes a somewhat different path here than in Western Europe or the USA, is more interested in the extraordinary timbres and their intermingling than in the structural features that have been expressed for years on so many albums and labels – from Frotee and RR Gems to We Jazz and Jazzaggression. Tõnu Naissoo, though, was one of the first jazz musicians in Estonia to seek a path out of the classical combo set-up with electronic capers and was successful in doing so. »Different Directions« shows in a little over three quarters of an hour what a difference a Rhodes Mark II Stage 73 or a Hohner Clavinet E7 keyboard can really make in the right hands. The band’s frontman, who has been playing since ‘67, is accompanied by Ahto Abner on drums and Mihkel Mälgand on bass, who both give the pleasurably chiselled key dances a dynamic yet velvety soft foundation, such as in the wonderfully explorative opener »Blue Rider« or the downright erotic »Lovely Moments (True Love)« with its lowkey cinematic touches. These are also obligatory, because Tõnu Naissoo previously recorded around 50 soundtracks for films and documentaries in the Linnahall studios during the ‘80s, making use of the very same fancy arsenal of high-quality synthesisers that have accumulated over the decades in the historic basement rooms of the massive building. Equipped with them, he succeeds with both on »Different Directions«: The dawn cruise from then to now, but also the glimpse in the rear-view mirror.

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Tonu Naissoo Electric Trio
Different Directions
from 21.24€