The Yrjö Jazz award 2016 was given to saxophonist Esa Pietilä (b. 1964) for his original, genre-defying work in the field of avant-garde jazz.
“Pietilä is known as a fearless improviser and musical visionary. His repertory is extremely versatile, including collaborations with classical orchestras. Moreover, he has brought not only Finnish but also international critics to their knees: the influential jazz magazine New York City Jazz Record shortlisted the debut album of Pietilä’s group Liberty Ship among the albums of 2013,” Petteri Klintrup, the Chair of the Finnish Jazz Federation board, explained.
The Yrjö Jazz Prize is an annual award given to a Finnish jazz artist in acknowledgement of his or her outstanding contribution to Finnish jazz music.
Esa Pietilä´s solo album Times & Spaces connects the acoustic expression of solo saxophone with live-electronics. The double album is a strong artistic statement and exploration into the world of improvisation. The album consists of two discs, one with acoustic expression and the second one with live-electronics which connects tenor saxophone´s acoustic expression with immense possibilities of live-electronics. With live-electronics Pietilä creates diverse atmospheres and unique musical ambients. Pietilä exploits the use of live-electronics with his own personal ways e.g. with motion censors and other unusual controllers to tweak sounds etc. Times & Spaces is the second solo saxophone album of Pietilä.
Esa Pietilä´s orchestral work Graffiti Play, a 40 minute orchestral piece composed by Esa Pietilä premieres its (world) First Performance in Helsinki oct. 5th 2014 with conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen & Avanti! Chamber Orchestra. The work is written for a contemporary, improvising jazz trio and saxophone as a soloist for the orchestra and it also contains parts in the orchestra, where the orchestra members improvise too. Besides Pietilä at saxophone, in the trio, there is Mika Kallio on drums, Ville Herrala on bass & Janne Tuomi with extra percussion. Esa-Pekka Salonen is one of the leading conductors in the world and the Avanti! Chamber Orchestra has gained vast reputation all over the world with its uncompromising and intransigent work on the field of modern contemporary & avant-garde music field. The artistic leader of Avanti! is the worldwide renowed clarinetist Kari Kriikku.
Editor (The Guardian & Jazz Journal) and Jazz enthusiastic Wif Stenger has made his top 10 list of Finnish Jazz releases 2013-2014. We´re proud to announce that Liberty Ship´s “Approaching” belongs into the list. Thanks!
Liberty Ship Quartet´s album “APPROACHING” was voted as an “ALBUM OF THE YEAR”on category “Best new releases 2013” by The New York City Jazz Record magazine. You can check it out (jan. 2014 issue, page 26) at: nycjazzrecord.com
Wif Stenger (The Guardian & Jazz Journal) also lists “Approaching” in his top 10 Finnish albums released in 2013 – 2014.