November 2000

Kenny Wheeler hits it off with Jan Simons

"Dignified and youthful" was how the regional daily Turun Sanomat (27 November 2000) described Kenny Wheeler's music at the Bluestock in Turku this weekend. The veteran trumpet and flugelhorn player is on tour with the Jan Simons band, thus continuing the co-operation which began earlier this year with the recording of the CD called Answer (Silence Music 0002).

The Bluestock concert will also published as a CD. The music consisted mainly of bassist Jan Simons and tenorist Manuel Dunkel's new compositions, although some material from the Answer CD was also included. Writing in Turun Sanomat, Jarmo Wallenius noted that Wheeler adapted once again extremely well to the new music and the young musicians' style of playing.

In an earlier interview in Turun Sanomat (25 November 2000), Wheeler praised his Finnish colleagues. He said that having received a tape of Jan Simons band's music, he immediataly liked it.

"These Finnish players are not typical bebop musicians. Harmonically and melodically they think very much the same way as I do. I have been playing like this for 25 years and during this time I have played with many relatively young musicians. It has worked very well in spite of the age difference."

The other musicians playing with Wheeler were pianist Samuli Mikkonen, guitarist Niklas Winter and drummer Markku Ounaskari. Mikkonen and Ounaskari also played with Wheeler at the Vortex Jazz Bar in London last May, in one of the Polar Jazz concerts.

In the interview, Wheeler expressed some concern about jazz's status in today's cultural life.

"Jazz is insignificant compared to other forms of culture and it is not visible in television. Its appeal does not reach everyday life. In the 1980s and 1990s, jazz was for a long time relying on its past but now people are looking to the future. This is good for jazz but possibly not for its position in cultural life."

See also:

Britain's jazz veterans join forces with young Finns

7 August 2000

Mika Mylläri stars in Pori Jazz

17 July 2000

BURN: "Dynamic project"

30 May 2000

BURN at Vortex and Bath Jazz Festival

29 May 2000

Northern Lights over Stoke Newington

26 May 2000

Wheeler and Mikkonen open Polar Jazz at Vortex

25 May 2000

Kenny Wheeler featured in Polar Jazz

14 April 2000

Ed Jones Quintet's adventures in Finland

June 1998

"A taut front line": Jones and Mylläri tour Scotland and Finland

February 1998

Ed Jones adds Finnish flavour to his jazz band by Chris Parker

January 1998

Finnish jazz benefits from more international contacts: interview with Mika Mylläri

January 1998




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