RANTALA, I., Good stuff

""Vienna, Rome, Seoul... Iiro Rantala and Ulf Wakenius are musicians who travel the world, always on tour as leaders of their own projects. So it was something of a fluke that this duo was able to come into existence at all. The idea first emerged in October 2015, when Rantala and Wakenius stopped off at the Philharmonie in Berlin. Siggi Loch, curator of the Jazz at Berlin Philharmonic concert series, had brought them together on stage for the Tears for Esbjörn concert. ""We were part of a larger ensemble on that occasion"", Rantala remembers, ""but it was clear to both of us straight away that we would want to form a duo."" This has to be seen as a very smart move, given the rarity of the piano-guitar duo in jazz - a fine exception being that of Brad Mehldau with Pat Metheny. Thereafter, whenever gaps could be found in both of their crammed diaries, they would meet to do concerts together. ""Each of us would bring some pieces to play"", says Wakenius, ""but because we always had so little time in the run-up, we were more or less rehearsing live on stage."" It is precisely this way of approaching the music - with spontaneity, inquisitiveness and a complete lack of preconceived ideas - that gives the duo its fabulous energy. It is worth noting that almost all of the tracks on this album are first takes."" - www.actmusic.com