Prior to connecting on social media a little over a year ago, Tapani Rinne and Juha Mäki-Patola were strangers despite both being active players in the Finnish music community for years. Tapani’s career as a saxophonist, clarinetist, and composer on commissioned and collaborative works as well as solo releases dates back to the mid-1980s while Juha has been blazing his own path over the past decade from musician, band member, & producer to composer inspired by modern neoclassical and minimalist masters such as Jóhann Jóhannsson, Max Richter, Philip Glass, and Ryuichi Sakamoto. Open is the debut album resulting from their newfound collaboration.
The album was developed during a 3 month long “creative burst” that spanned the transition of winter into spring in Finland. It is an absolutely entrancing record in which the two artists find a rare alchemy and an entrancing stillness at the intersection of compositional ambient music and cool, contemplative Nordic jazz. Tapani paints in warm, colorful melodic strokes with his saxophone and clarinet finding an ideal canvas in the elegant backdrop Juha creates with synthesizer, piano, organ, and guitar. There is a captivating duality to the music that is delicately poised between the exhilaration of free-spirited improvisation and the refined pleasures of introspective minimalism, a poetic euphony that makes this listener, for one, grateful that the paths of these two very talented artists finally did cross.
Open is available digitally as well as on limited edition CD or cassette from Hush Hush Records, a Seattle based label curated by KEXP Radio DJ Alex Ruder, also host of the Pacific Notions broadcast every Sunday morning from 6-9 AM Pacific. The album was mastered by Taylor Deupree and features cover art & design by Ilkka Kärkkäinen.