Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Triot with John Tchicai: Sudden Happiness

There aren’t many young American free-jazz musicians who play better than Triot, a three-piece band of Scandinavian musicians in their mid-to-late 20s. Led by the Finnish saxophonist Mikko Innanen, the group also includes two Danes-bassist Nicolai Munch-Hansen and drummer Stefan Pasborg. On Sudden Happiness (Tum) they add a special guest, the venerable Danish saxophonist John Tchicai. Triot plays an unfussy, Ornette Coleman-ish kind of freebop. The rhythm section is fine; Pasborg and Much-Hansen obviously know their Ed Blackwell and Charlie Haden. Innanen and Tchicai spend considerable time playing as a duo, something they do well together. Their sense of melody is similar, lyrical and somewhat antivirtuosic in the best sense. Innanen is more likely to adhere close to the pulse, whereas Tchicai constructs his improvisations by poking around between the beats and stretching his lines on top. Both play with unusual warmth. This is good stuff-nothing flashy, but big-hearted and swinging. It’s nice to hear someone Innanen’s age so far along on his way to developing a distinctive voice.

Originally Published