Like its predecessors, the Esa Pietilä Trio peels away jazz’s conventions to reveal its basic sound elements, but its efforts on Direct are leaner and more refined. With a minimum of song structure but a maximum of group interaction, they deliver a visceral gut-punch with both urgency and subtlety.
The group does not rigidly define each player’s role, thereby freeing them to delve deeper into their instruments’ potential. On “Purple Jungle” they merge into one instrument, with Krokfors’ bowing sounding like a horn, Pietilä’s throaty growls scraping like an arco bass, and Ounaskari’s percussion evoking plucked strings.
“Bumpy Down” showcases how the trio often assumes different duet forms. Krokfors generates a frenetic pulse around which Pietilä on soprano prods the melody along. With only two players they aggressively explore yet still retain a vast silence.
While much free jazz often climaxes in cataclysmic peaks, this trio prefers to let silence and resonance build. A delicious tension emerges on “Headway” as Pietilä’s tenor stretches compact phrases into winding passages while Krokfors and Ounaskari string out the pulse until it nearly disintegrates. By putting texture and interaction over harmonic development and song structure, they highlight a larger goal: creating a unified group identity. Direct offers a subtle blend of melodic sketches, rhythmic boldness and intense interaction-a quiet storm of noise. Whole article at: all about jazz.