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Jaak Sooäär / Ara Yaralyan / Markku Ounaskari

Jazz
  • Jaak Sooäär
    electric guitar
  • Ara Yaralyan
    double bass
  • Markku Ounaskari
    drums
Booking-territory:

What is a trio of guitar, bass and drums that plays melodic jazz with some elements of Nordic folklore and European classical music?

The answer came to Estonian guitarist Jaak Sooäär when he listened to the results of the trio’s recording session, which was to become their debut album “A Shooting Star” (o-tone music) in 2018. The music sounded like a piano trio, only without a piano in the band. The rock-oriented trios with guitar, bass and drums are also called “power trios”. The polyphonic interaction of the three musicians created a sound that sounded more like airy landscapes, similar to the European piano trio sound.

biography

Jaak Sooäär is a guitarist and one of the most famous jazz musicians in the Baltic States. When he was born in 1972 in Tallinn, Estonia was still a Soviet Socialist Republic. At the age of seven he became a member of the Estonian Boys’ Choir and soon embarked on his first concert in the USSR tours with them. He later studied in Tartu, Tallinn and Copenhagen and began working in the jazz and pop scene in his home country in 1989. Now the list of internationally prominent jazz musicians with whom he has worked with is impressive. Since 2001 he has been teaching guitar in the Jazz Department of the Estonian Academy of Music and Theatre (Eesti Muusika- ja Teatriakadeemia) in Tallinn and has headed this department since 2004.

review

Currently about “Goodbye July”:

“Despite the, mostly melancholic, influence of folkloristic sound material, the gentlemen play to each other with a lot of ease and a positive expression and turn every piece into a delight. (…) Another memorable piece, which will hopefully be continued in this constellation for a long time to come.” Concerto

 

“Jaak Sooäär isn’t a shooting star, he’s a fixed star.” Jazzpodium

“His new album is a dream, a trio-dream […] Jaak’s theme for “A Shooting Star” is so beautiful one almost wants to cry, his voicings are delicacies, his improvs are statements, arguments and free of any randomness. Sooäär isn’t a shooting star, he’s a fixed star.” Alexander Schmitz about album “A Shootin Star” Jazzpodium

press

What is a trio of guitar, bass and drums that plays melodic jazz with some elements of Nordic folklore and European classical music?

The answer came to Estonian guitarist Jaak Sooäär when he listened to the results of the trio’s recording session, which was to become their debut album “A Shooting Star” (o-tone music) in 2018. The music sounded like a piano trio, only without a piano in the band. The rock-oriented trios with guitar, bass and drums are also called “power trios”. The polyphonic interaction of the three musicians created a sound that sounded more like airy landscapes, similar to the European piano trio sound.

As the debut album of the trio consisted of already existing songs, the new album is mainly inspired by the possibilities and musicians of this special trio and was composed especially for this “piano trio without a piano”. The new compositions are fanned by the rich emotions and colors of late summer and the unusually warm and friendly autumn of 2018. For example, the opening track of the album “November Rose” is inspired by two beautiful red roses that bloomed in Jaak Sooäär’s garden in mid-November. A rather untypical event for the Estonian climate. The album also surprises with two Armenian songs, arranged by bassist Ara Yaralyan.

The trio was formed in spring 2016 with the Estonian guitarist Jaak Sooäär, the Armenian/Estonian double bassist Ara Yaralyan and the Finnish drummer Markku Ounaskari. Since then they have played in Estonia, Finland, Germany, Switzerland and Italy. In October 2018 the trio released their debut album “A Shooting Star” on the German label o-tone Music. The new album will also be released here in autumn 2020.

Jaak Sooäär is one of the most active jazz musicians in the Baltic States, and has performed with Ray Anderson, Anders Jormin, Han Bennink, Will Calhoun, Dave Liebman and Vladimir Tarasov, among others. His bandmate Ara Yaralyan is known for his work in the Kari Ikonen Trio. He has also worked with Ingrid Jensen, Vardan Ovsepian and Verneri Pohjola, to name a few. But the most famous member of the trio is Markku Ounaskari. The drummer regularly works with artists such as Arve Henriksen, Anders Jormin, Nils Petter Molvaer, Trygve Seim, Markus Stockhausen, Tore Brunborg, Mats Eilertsen and Lena Willemark and can be heard on several ECM albums.

o-tone music
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