Tuomi: The Expense Of Spirit: Release Information
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Release Date: 23.03.2007
TT Catalogue No: 4502
The Expense Of Spirit
With their second album The Expense Of Spirit, Trio Tuomi confirm their extraordinary status on the international music scene. Alto voice, piano and contrabass - Kristiina Tuomi, Carsten Daerr and Carlos Bica once again prove to be masters of a still unmapped genre with their congenial interpretation of classical lyric with original lyrics. More than ever, their compositions spring from the Kunstlied (traditional romantic poem set to classical music), Celtic ballads of murder, or the Scandinavian folk song – and still enthuse pop fans. The wave of soft-soul-jazz, currently enjoying immense popularity, has definitely got an alternative!
And so Tuomi continues on the road of success started by their debut album Tightrope Walker, which was met with unanimous enthusiasm by music critics and press two years ago. Jazzthing reviewer, for example, found the trio’s music to be „elegiac, execrating, and (...) with their clear, lyrical melodies (...) charmingly artistic.“ The FAZ remarked how the German/Finnish singer Kristiina Tuomi „transports her songs almost entirely into the domain of the „Kunstlied (poetry set to classical music), but that it is a domain where a voice so free of pathos and pretention is just as rare as the improvisational freedom allowed highly sensitive pianist Carsten Daerr“. And finally Jazzthetik described Tightrope Walker as „a dark sounding record, that tells stories of romantic love as well as heartbreak with an intimate chamber music ensemble (...)“, and raves: „Kristiina Tuomi sings all this with disarming clarity and elegance – far beyond the parameters of jazz.
On The Expense Of Spirit, Tuomi again flaunts its total fearlessness of heights in a high-wire act between congenial lyric set to music, jazzy pop (self-penned) and what the Portuguese and Brazilians call „Saudade“: Kristiina Tuomi’s natural alto confidently and competently enters a dialogue with Carsten Daerr’s lucid piano playing and Carlos Bica’s singing contrabass, creating songs full of transparancy and lyrical sophistication that challenge, seduce and fascinate the listener.
Kristiina Tuomi and Carsten Daerr were making music together even before forming this North-South trio. While studying jazz at the Berlin University of Art, where they were introduced to the finesses of composition and timing by Maria Schneider and David Friedman, among others, the two developed a pension for putting Shakespearean sonnets to music. „It’s always fascinating to see (and hear) how my musical sketches come to life when working with Kristiina, and how it naturally works itself out, which poem best fits which composition,“ says Carsten Daerr about their working modus. The Team got new impulses when Kristiina Tuomi (re)-discovered not only the poesy of Edgar Allen, but also wrote her own lyrics, whose pop-appeal was a refreshing foil to the „kunstlied“ image. The two of them joined in with a cellist for a short time, but when he moved to a different city they started looking around for other musicians, no longer wanting to do without the interaction of three different characteristic sounds..
„Shortly after Carsten and I had reluctlantly shrunk back to a duo, we went to a jazz club together where contrabassist Carlos Bica with his Berliner band Azul were giving an enthralling concert,“ recalls Kristiina Tuomi. „Carsten and I looked at each other and knew immediately that this was the right man for our music.“ The next day the singer sent the Portuguese (living in Berlin), who had already accompanied the likes of Ana Brandão and Maria João, a demo. Bica reacted in a flash: „Two days later he called and asked when the next rehearsal was.“ Just how artistically fruitful this meeting would turn out to be was not only demonstrated on numerous stages, but on the highly acclaimed record, Tightrope Walker, released in the spring of 2005. Its successor The Expense Of Spirit has fulfilled all the high expectations with ease.
Tuomi don’t want to cater to the needs of „jazz-light“, so popular currently, nor to be stereotyped as the talented „Kunstlied“ innovators: „To make people aware of the beauty of a Shakespearean sonnet - or other poems which have touched our hearts – that is certainly a goal. But most of all we want to make people really start listening again, emphasizes Kristiina Tuomi, „Because what we do is definitively not Easy Listening!“.