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Iiro Rantala/Lars Danielsson/Peter Erskine: How Long Is Now? *

Album Remarks & Appraisals:

After the album "My Working Class Hero," dedicated to John Lennon and "Tears for Esbjorn," a homage to the influential Swedish pianist, "How Long Is Now?" puts the spotlight fairly and squarely back onto the Finnish pianist, composer, and life-force, Iiro Rantala. This new trio album with Peter Erskine and Lars Danielsson constitutes a many-faceted summing-up of a happy and resoundingly creative phase of Rantala's life. Rantala says of this new album: "I think this is one of those 'composition is the king' kind of projects. The theme, the writing, the mood of the composition are the most important things." Seven of the thirteen compositions here are by Rantala himself, three tracks by the other players in the trio, and three more are by others who, in their different ways, have helped to construct Rantala's appealing musical personality. A feature which is present throughout the album- and which was apparently much in evidence at the sessions, too- is Iiro Rantala's winning sense of humor. He recently told an interviewer on video: "We Scandinavians like minor and sadness... and pessimism and darkness." But as he spoke all of those words, he never allowed a characteristically mischievious and ironic smile to slip from his face, even for a moment. In "How Long Is Now?" Rantala, Erskine and Danielsson have produced a thoroughly life-affirming album.


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