USA meets Finland on Brain Inventory Trio’s new live album

Debut album to be released on the German label Konnex Records on 23 March 2012

The recently formed Brain Inventory Trio not only bridges two cultures but also brings us a fusion of styles from jazz and folk music to rock, throwing all preconceptions out the window. With American pianist Michael Jefry Stevens and two Finns, saxophonist Esa Pietilä and cellist Juho Laitinen, in the line-up, the trio’s talents span across a multitude of musical genres. The upcoming album was recorded at a concert performed in Helsinki in 2010.

Esa Pietila – Saxophones (Finland)
Michael Jefry Stevens – Piano (USA)
Juho Laitinen – Cello (Finland)

As the world continues its furious drive towards complete globalization we are reminded of man’s final frontier: our own brain. The human being’s relationship to music is yet another mystery. What is this universal language? Where does it come from? How and why does music touch us as a species so deeply.

“Brain Inventory Trio” plays a multitude of styles (jazz, folk, classical, rock, improvised, composed, acoustic, electric). The instrumentation of acoustic piano, saxophones and cello (acoustic and electric) creates new musical parameters, colors, and hopefully will lead the listener as well as the performer to an internal inventory of one’s life and our relationship to each other. One species. A “Brain Inventory”.

Concert videos at Youtube:

– “Crow” by Michael Jefrey Stevens – live in Helsinki, 2010
– “Chorale” by Esa Pietilä – live in Helsinki, 2010
– “The Wall” (improvisation) – live in Helsinki, 2010

Brain Inventory Trio – Artist Biographies

Pianist/Composer and “Steinway Artist” Michael Jefry Stevens (born 1951 in NYC) performs extensively in Europe, Latin America and North America. He has composed over 400 works for both large and small ensemble. As an active band-leader for over 30 years his working musical ensembles currently include the Conference Call Quartet, The Fonda/Stevens Group, the Swiss “In Transit Quartet, the Hungarian “Eastern Boundary Quartet”, the Griffith/Stevens Quartet, the Southern Excursion Quartet, a quartet project with Memphis Vocalist Joyce Cobb, German vocalist Nicole Metzger’s NY Connection and performs with New Orleans horn man Brian “Breeze” Cayolle. Michael has released over 70 cds featuring his own music. Mr. Stevens has performed and/or recorded extensively with many of the top names in Jazz including Dave Liebman, Dave Douglas, Valery Ponomarev, Cecil Bridgewater, Steve Swell, Bill McHenry, Leo Smith, Perry Robinson, Matt Wilson, Mark Feldman, Dom Minasi, Dave Ballou, Pheeroan AkLaff and many others.

Juho Laitinen (b. 1977) is a cellist, improviser, composer, writer and teacher. He performs as a soloist and chamber musician, teaches and studies at Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, regularly makes recordings for the Finnish Broadcasting Company and writes for various music publications.

Juho has a particular interest in the tradition of American and European avant-garde. His repertoire includes works by Cage, Scelsi and Stockhausen, and also the most recent music – improvisation – is of key importance. In the latter realm he has worked for example with John Zorn, Elliott Sharp and Christian Wolff.

Not a fan of unnecessary classifications of genre, Juho regularly works with jazz musicians, currently with the band of Pepa Päivinen. He also performs on the Baroque cello, plays fado as well as some classical music from the Near East. Juho pursues his interest in the possibilities of electronic sound manipulation with Mikko Hassinen in Sound Dentistry. Among the works he has commissioned and premiered are On Air-Line for cello, electronics and big band by Riikka Talvitie and Boost for cello and analog synthesizer, in extended just intonation, by Juhani Nuorvala. Coming up in November 2011 is a new piece for 6-string electric cello by Maija Hynninen.

Nowadays mostly known for his prowess and vision as an improviser, saxophonist Esa Pietilä commenced his career in the big band environment and Sibelius Academy Jazz Department. Over the years, Esa Pietilä´s original style of Freeform jazz and various projects of his Trio, “4 Streams” Quartet with ECM artist Iro Haarla, improvised solo saxophone concerts etc. have stabilized his position performing on the national & international jazz circuit, and have led him to play in Italy, Germany, Norway, Sweden, France, The Netherlands, Austria, Iceland, England, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil and Cuba. He has performed e.g. with the names like Ron McClure, Mathias Eick, Mike Nock, Claudio Fasoli, Heiri Kaenzig, Odean Pope, Raoul Björkenheim, Brian Melvin, Iro Haarla, Filip Augustson, Hilmar Jensson, Johannes Mössinger, Mikko Innanen, Mika Kallio, Seppo kantonen, Antti Hytti, and Erling Kroner.

Esa´s solo saxophone concerts belong to the elite of saxophone expression – Esa`s virtuosity of saxophone combines with colours of saxophone sound in multitude textures & atmospheres from variety of minimalism whispers to full free blowing results a palette of colourful shapes of multiphonics, chordal tones, rhythmic surprises in drama, and even “Bach”- like fugue approach to Improvisation.