This album has been promoted as a combination of European and Afro- American elements with some oriental flavour added on top. To me the album is more about the man behind it, Kari Ikonen, than any fusion of cultures and styles.
I expected a lot from this record, because Ikonen’s style of composing and playing is so original, and he is one of the few Finnish jazz artists, whose gigs are impressive without exception. Ikonen’s style is jagged in a positive way. Even if the composition is founded on melodic thinking, rhythmic variations and surprising changes in the song’s direction are dominant.
Live the surprising nature creates an intensity that raises each performance to a new level. This has been difficult to catch in a recording and that causes me to be a little disappointed in the album. The music isn’t as unconventional as I expected and features less strangely fascinating clustered solos. Maybe Ikonen’s jazz is first and foremost live music like good jazz should be.
Getting over this personal horizon of expectation makes Bright sound like a success. The trio has a loose style of playing with each player having a freedom to play as they consider the best way, and no one has to attend specially to the pulse. The trio sounds like a jazz trio at its best.
Translation: Jonathan Mander