Niklas Winter - Eight Songs Seven Keys
Niklas Winter - Eight Songs Seven Keys
Niklas Winter - Eight Songs Seven Keys (CD NEW)
Label: Cd Baby.Com/Indys
Release Date: 29 Nov 2013
No. of Discs: 1
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1. Blue Monk
2. Deep Waters
3. Hall Market
4. Moment Intro
6. My Funny Valentine
7. For Sofia
8. No Sigar
TEEMU VIINIKAINEN & NIKLAS WINTER ( ALL ABOUT JAZZ CONCERT REVIEW OF THE TAMPERE JAZZ HAPPENING CONCERT 5.11.2010) By the time Teemu Viinikainen and Niklas Winter-two guitarists well-established in the Finnish scene, with over forty albums released individually as leaders or sidemen-hit the small stage at Telekka a few minutes late at 9:15pm, the club had gone, over the previous couple hours, from lightly populated to jam-packed. Considering the size of the room, the number of people standing throughout, and supporting posts partially obstructing the view from different angles, the crowd was remarkably focused on a duo weighing heavily on the side of subtlety and lyricism. Viinikainen and Winter demonstrated a kind of comfortable and mutually respectful empathy, and control over dynamics that grabbed the audience's attention and kept it, from the first notes of a set which combined original compositions from each guitarist with a couple of well-known standards, including the well-deserved encore, a wryly reverent look at Thelonious Monk's classic blues, 'Blue Monk,' that is also the opening track to the duo's first release, Eight Songs Seven Keys (Abovoice, 2010). The duo's rearrangement of the classic 'My Funny Valentine,' which came about half-way through the pair's 45-minute set, was more eminently adventurous, taken at a faster clip and with a rhythm guitar pattern that, at the beginning at least, was tinged with a hint of Latin. But, as was the case with most of the music in the set, the song's structure drove a constant evolution and shift, as Viinikainen and Winter traded roles, each supporting the other in a relatively conventional fashion. Still, as centrist as the duo was, it's harmonic sensibility sometimes took it to other places, with a dark ambiguity recalling guitarist John Abercrombie solo, and in duet with Ralph Towner, from the '70s. Already demonstrating a synchronistic evolution since the recording of Eight Songs Seven Keys a few months back; other than the two standards, the duo surprisingly performed very little from it's recording. That said, the hollow body tones of both Viinikainen and Winter were brighter and more direct, and far less reverb-drenched than, say, Abercrombie back in the day. Of the two, Winter tended to be the more oblique and angular player, though he never sacrificed lithe dexterity entirely. Viinikainen was the smoother, more fluid of the pair, delivering long, serpentine lines that weaved in and around Winter's combination of finger-picking and propulsive strumming, just as Viinikainen's own strong rhythmic sensibility created a backdrop upon which Winter could completely trust, when he took over the spotlight. Trust in fact, was key, as was a fundamental sense of good time. Without a drummer or a bassist, and with the two guitarists sometimes dissolving into spare sections where time was, at best, suggested, it became even more essential that the two could internalize that time and know where it was, without it being explicitly there. It's in the context of the duo that an artist is at his/her most exposed; not only are their abilities, instincts and improvisational Tlan laid bare, but their communication skills-or lack thereof-are impossible to disguise. Viinikainen and Winter needn't have worried, as it was clear, from their Tampere Jazz Happening performance, that this was a duo communicating at a very deep level, playing relatively quiet music that was, nevertheless, thoroughly captivating. JOHN KELMAN, ALL ABOUT JAZZ 6.11.2010.
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