Raoul Björkenheim – guitars
Jori Huhtala – double bass
Ilmari Heikinheimo – drums
“This isn’t your normal kind of jazz guitar trio (although you wouldn’t expect that with Björkenheim), with a wide range of influences and genres coming into the mix to show a group that’s comfortably conversant with creating different shades and tones. Although by today’s eclectic standards maybe this is precisely a 21st Century jazz guitar trio!”– Chris Haines, freejazzblog.org
Raoul Björkenheim Triad’s aptly-titled debut CD “Beyond” was released in 2017, staking a fresh claim on how energy can be transformed into music. Built on Raoul Björkenheim and Ilmari Heikinheimo’s previous duo explorations, Ville Rauhala joined them in 2013, forming Triad. The group played the cities of Finland, engaging in an eight-date tour in 2017. In 2018, Björkenheim’s partner from eCsTaSy, Jori Huhtala, took over the bass playing duties.
Raoul Björkenheim’s innovative guitar playing first appeared in 1985 on Edward Vesala’s “Bad Luck, Good Luck”, featuring Tomasz Stanko and Juhani Aaltonen. The drummer’s seminal album two years later on ECM, “Lumi”, brought him to the attention of the global jazz community and led to recordings on that label for Krakatau, a finnish folk-free-metal-jazz quartet which avidly toured Finland and Europe during the 90’s. Björkenheim subsequently lived for eight years in New York City where he made many new connections, recording and performing with artists like Bill Laswell, Paul Schütze, Toshinori Kondo, Mats Gustafsson, Lukas Ligeti, Hamid Drake and William Parker.
Jori Huhtala has been a member of Raoul Björkenheim eCsTaSy for close to a decade now, and has developed an awesome dynamic sound during that time. Huhtala leads several bands of his own and also records with numerous top artists in Finland, e.g. Eero Koivistoinen, Jussi Fredriksson, Jussi Lehtonen and Sid Hille. He has also collaborated with some of the leading jazz artists in the world, such as David Liebman, Billy Hart and Tim Hagans.
Ilmari Heikinheimo combines polyrythmical and rubato phrasing in his explosively dynamic and lyrical style, bringing melodic dimensions to his drumming, as well as a keen sense of tonal color . He has worked with many major figures in the finnish progressive jazz/improv scene, with the likes of Juhani Aaltonen, Jorma Tapio, Pepa Päivinen, Hjilmar Jensson, Ulf krokfors and Antti Hytti. His playing has previously been documented in the re-incarnation of Edward Vesala Sound & Fury’s album “Pulsacion”.
Triad clips on youtube: