VIDEO: Kristjan Randalu Trio performs with American guitarist Ben Monder
On Oct. 31 and Nov. 1, the Kristjan Randalu Trio played four concerts over two nights with American modern jazz guitarist Ben Monder, who has both released solo albums as well as been featured on hundreds of other albums, including David Bowie's final album "Blackstar" (2016).
ERR's Estonian-language Culture portal broadcast the third of these concerts live on Nov. 1 at 7 p.m., which can now be watched in full below.
Kristjan Randalu has been one of the most active and wide-reaching Estonian jazz musicians in the world. Thanks to his activism, Randalu was able to form a stately trio, the likes of which rarely include an Estonian jazz musician. Mats Eilertsen of Norway is one of the most unique contrabass players in Europe, while Markku Ounaskari of Norway is known for his responsive drumming style.
"Ben Monder, Mats Eilertsen and Markku Ounaskiri are very experienced musicians, having performed in many very free-form improvisational combos," said Randalu of his fellow musicians regarding the creative freedom granted by such a high-level lineup. "To went my way around their world of sound is a luxury. My work for this ensemble is very demanding material for everyone, but their approaches and impulses force me to constantly live in the moment and create joint solutions. This isn’t a situation in which the others are simply performing the music created by one of us."
The Estonian musician considered Ben Monder’s participation to be a natural continuation of their duo, which released the album "Equilibrium" in 2012. Monder has a distinctive sound which adds a new dimension to Randalu’s music.
Randalu, Eilertsen and Ounaskari first met two years ago, when Norwegian composer and saxophonist Trygve Seim invited them to join his new quartet. They recorded together at Rainbow Studios in Oslo, one of the most famous studios in jazz history where a number of albums released by ECM, among others, were recorded. The trio achieved marked success during their debut already just one year ago, playing a total of seven sold-out shows in Tallinn and Viljandi.
The international jazz trio performed the program "Between Three Plagues," which featured Randalu’s new works exclusively.
Kristjan Randalu - piano
Ben Monder (US) - guitar
Mats Eilertsen (Norway) - contrabass
Markku Ounaskari (Finland) - drums