Of late, pianist and composer Aki Rissanen has invested a significant amount of effort into working with bass player Antti Lötjönen and drummer Teppo Mäkynen in his magnificent trio. The group's five-year spanning trail of three albums is a high-water mark in Finnish music, an undisputed tour de force by the best local piano trio since the astonishing Trio Töykeät roamed the Earth.
This time around the ever-inquisitive piano man chooses to revisit some of the territories he originally explored with La Lumière noire back in 2005 and further mapped out with Sturm ten years later. This is the harsh domain of solo piano – a place where the skyline spreads wide, and the only limit is one's imagination. Luckily Rissanen recognizes the pitfalls. As a student of both jazz and classical music from various institutes around Europe, he knows about the standards set in both disciplines. He is also aware of the massive shadow cast by Keith Jarrett under which all who work in this artform must operate. But perhaps relying on the teachings of his late mentor Jarmo Savolainen, Rissanen faces the challenge fearlessly, head on.
Divided Horizon starts ever so gently yet progresses rapidly towards a more forceful and playful expression. High on logic but never too calculated, Rissanen eases himself into the role of a weathered storyteller as the album flows along. At times, he embellishes the sonics with his secret weapon. Built partly according to schematics found in the sketch books of Leonardo da Vinci, the mystic Omniwerk gives the music an otherworldly quality with its unique baroque sound. Taking risks is second nature to some. The relentless Aki Rissanen is cut from this cloth.
2021 Edition Records