Raoul Björkenheim – guitars
Ville Rauhala – 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. Since then the trio has played all over Finland, most recently engaging in an eight-date tour last December (2017).
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.
Ville Rauhala began playing the bass in his teens and has performed professionally since 1994, his first groups including blues and jazz influenced Groovy Eyes and Hot Pants as well as the roots rock group Stringbeans. Rauhala’s intense bass playing is deliriously infectuous, and his robust grooves and sensitive lyrical approach make him one of the most versatile bassists in the country. His dedication is matched by the members of Black Motor, the well-established trio from Tampere for which Rauhala is best known.
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: