Label: We Jazz
Preorder: Releases February 24th 2023
Finnish bassist Antti Lötjönen returns in February 2023 with his second Quintet East album on We Jazz Records. With Verneri Pohjola on trumpet, Mikko Innanen and Jussi Kannaste on saxes, and Joonas Riippa on drums, Quintet East is a hard-hitting ensemble of Helsinki scene A-listers. The new release sees the quintet work with Lötjönen's inspired new music with remarkable spirit, spreading out on a quest for new sounds and ideas, and returning to base with a fresh batch of acoustic creative music, wild to the bone even when sounding completely in control.
Circus/Citadel is essentially a coherent album, rather than a series of loosely connected compositions. There's plenty of diversity within Lötjönen's compositions and the band's dynamics, yet it all flows into one effortlessly, creating a suite of sorts, even outside of the title composition which consists of three parts. During the course of the album, the quintet often gets together in smaller formations: in trios and duos of different combinations of the players. The music breathes and maintains its energy at all times, leaving plenty of headroom for the all-out quintet "attacks" when needed. It all comes together in a shape that feels unified and cyclical, leaving the listener hungry for repeated listens in order to get deeper into the many layers found within.