Outi Tarkiainen’s first arrangement for UMO Jazz Orchestra was heard 10 years ago, when she was 18. The material on this album was created between 2005 and 2011. The centrepiece is the 17-minute Into the Woodland Silence, commissioned by UMO and premiered in 2010. The largely through-composed work, dedicated to the featured singer Aili Ikonen, is as much contemporary classical as jazz. The grooviest part of this album, Bugbear, is the oldest, which suggests a movement towards the classical field.
The two-trumpet powerhouse Cayo Coco, featuring Magnus Ekholm and Dan Johansson, was recorded by UMO some four years ago. A comparison between the two versions interestingly points out differences between the big bands; the Swedes have a warmer sound and a rounder swing, while UMO plays brighter and more on the beat.
Southern influences can be heard in Contemplations, composed when Tarkiainen studied at the University of Miami. The simple and beautiful theme has a Brazilian tinge.
The booklet features information and lyrics in English and Swedish, as well as the original Finnish lyrics heard on the album.
OUTI TARKIAINEN, NORRBOTTEN BIG BAND WITH AILI IKONEN: Into the Woodland Silence
Fredriksson Music FRMCD007
In an online concert (available 12-26 May, 2021) UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra, vocalist Mirja Mäkelä and conductor Anna-Maria Helsing interpret Outi Tarkiainen’s compositions from the albums Unpainted Portraits and Into the Woodland Silence. The concert has been produced with exceptional methods in exceptional times: each section of the big band has recorded their own scores one at a time, and the recording has been compiled and mixed afterwards. This is why the illustration is also exceptional: instead of a concert video, we will see some beautiful nature landscapes.