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.