JUHANI AALTONEN — Juhani Aaltonen & Iro Haarla : Kirkastus (review)

JUHANI AALTONEN — Juhani Aaltonen & Iro Haarla : Kirkastus album cover Album · 2015 · Post-Fusion Contemporary Buy this album from MMA partners
4/5 ·
Juhani Aaltonen and Iro Haarla have been playing together for quite a while now having first meet in the early 1970’s whilst Iro was still a teenager and still studying music and then again a few years later when both were performing with Edward Vesala in the late 70’s and early 80’s where after they went their own ways until reuniting in 2002 whilst recording for the Finnish Jazz label Tum with both appearing on various albums led by Juhani or Iro with the label since. Juhani Aaltonen plays tenor saxophone, flute, alto flute and bass flute within this recording “Kirkastus” whilst Iro Haarla is on piano, harp , guzheng or chen ( Chinese stringed instrument) and percussion for this duo recording released in 2015. Both have extensive histories in music with Juhani first releasing his debut as a leader in 1974 for the album “Etiquette” as well as performing with the Rock band Tasavallan Presidenti whilst Iro Haarla has kept working right up till the late 1990’s with her husband Edward Vesala until his death and did not release an album until 2001 under her own name in conjunction with the saxophonist Pepa Paivanen who also had been playing with Edward Vesala. All the recordings included within the album are written by Iro and as such are predominately intricate ballads with perhaps her most well known album being “Vespers” released in 2011 with the ECM label and a prime showcase for her style of Jazz composing.

“Evening Prayer” open subtlety with Juhani on Tenor saxophone and Iro playing piano for this lovely gentle ballad where one hear can the understanding both musicians have between each other with some beautiful solo input with the piano from Iro on this near six minute piece which is followed by “Out Of The depths” with Juhani on flute and Iro on piano and adding in addition a chimed percussion and although it another ballad which the whole album being it is the variety of instruments used throughout the compositions that keep things from not sounding all the same with the playing still remaining in a beautiful gentle mode.”Still Waters”, “Nightjar” and “ Long Sole Sound” has Iro playing Harp whereas Juhani plays flute on three of the ten ballads and Iro plays the chen on only one for ‘Nightjar” being one of my picks with the addition of “Long Sole Sound” where bass flute and harp are combined keeping the album interesting throughout all the tracks.

Lovely relaxed music with some great playing from Juhani in these beautiful low key compositions and although Juhani Aaltonen is first in the credits it is Iro Haarla’s just as much. She has her own style of composing and it is quite individual leaving her own mark on modern Jazz which is beautifully displayed on this album. Great for those quiet times.
Share this review

Review Comments

Post a public comment below | Send private message to the reviewer
Please login to post a shout
No shouts posted yet. Be the first member to do so above!


Rating by members, ranked by custom algorithm
Albums with 30 ratings and more
A Love Supreme Post Bop
Buy this album from our partners
Kind of Blue Cool Jazz
Buy this album from our partners
The Black Saint and the Sinner Lady Progressive Big Band
Buy this album from our partners
Blue Train Hard Bop
Buy this album from our partners
My Favorite Things Hard Bop
Buy this album from our partners

New Jazz Artists

New Jazz Releases

Disconnections World Fusion
Buy this album from MMA partners
Solo 7"s Vol​.​1 World Fusion
Buy this album from MMA partners
Listen Live at Sweet Basils Hard Bop
Buy this album from MMA partners
Focus Trio : Well Travelled Fusion
Buy this album from MMA partners
Pockets, Melodies and Sockets Jazz Related Electronica/Hip-Hop
Buy this album from MMA partners
More new releases

New Jazz Online Videos

Joe Armon-Jones - Pray (Official Audio)
snobb· 16 hours ago
María Grand - Now, Take, Your, Day
js· 19 hours ago
Rattlesnake Master
js· 1 day ago
Zoot Suit Funk
js· 1 day ago
More videos

New JMA Jazz Forum Topics

More in the forums

New Site interactions


Latest Jazz News


More in the forums

Social Media

Follow us