It’s 16 years since the first May Monday album. Six years later came Midnight May Monday and now we have Midsummer May Monday. These recordings are a testament to the enduring and magical partnership of the vivacious and elegant accordionist Karen Tweed and the quiet genius of pianist, composer and arranger Timo Alakotila, who has underpinned and inspired so many recordings and projects with Finnish musicians, not least the much-loved JPP.
Although we’ve had a long wait for the latest release, Karen and Timo are never out of touch with each other. They are constantly sharing music through their passion for performing together, so behind the music there are years of thought, inspiration and joy. Both musicians are supreme lyrical performers who have a true gift for uncovering the spirit and text of the tunes they play, and both have a remarkable knack for creating textures that complement each other’s sound.
Some of the tunes are their own compositions; some are reworkings of favourite melodies from across the years, from mischievous dances to a little Nordic melancholy and tributes to friends and life’s varied experiences. Guest appearances, including Petri Hakala and Timo Myllykangas, add golden threads – the rich colours of harp, trumpet, violin, mandolin, flute, guitar and bass – to this exquisite album, which is a hymn of praise to midsummer and to music itself.
Midsummer May Monday