Kristjan Randalu (Estonia) – piano
Nelson Veras (Brazil/France) – guitar
Markku Ounaskari (Finland) – drums
Estonian pianist Kristjan Randalu presents his ECM debut – a striking album of his own rigorous-yet-lyrical music. As an improviser of prodigious technique, once described by Herbie Hancock “a dazzling piano player”, Randalu’s affinities are with the jazz musicians, but the forms and dynamics of his pieces also reflect a discerning sense of structure. Absence was recorded in France, produced by Manfred Eicher and released in 2018.
Kristjan Randalu belongs to the most sought-after piano players of his generation, carrying the torch in both the improvised world of jazz and the traditional realm of classical music. Between creating his own original blend of contemporary jazz as a leader and collaborating with several generations of respected musicians, from the likes of fellow ECM recording artist Trygve Seim to saxophonist David Liebman, Randalu has brought his music to some of the world’s most renowned jazz festivals and concert halls. At the same time, he is viewed as an esteemed interpreter of a broad spectrum of contemporary and classical music, performing alongside internationally acclaimed ensembles of the stature of the London Symphony Orchestra and the Tallinn Chamber Orchestra on the one hand and esteemed conductors like Kristjan Järvi and Dennis Russell Davies on the other. His over 40 album-strong discography has won him several awards, including “Jazz Artist of the Year” and “Jazz Composer of the year” in Estonia.
Guitarist Nelson Veras has developed a unique style based on a mix of classical guitar, contemporary jazz and his Brazilian roots. After moving to France as a teenager he instantly drew the attention of a large audience after performing on TV with Pat Metheny. Shortly after he formed his first quartet with with Eric Barret, Michel Benita and Aldo Romano, with which he performed at renowned festivals Jazz in Marciac and the Nice Jazz Festival. At the same time he was a member of Aldo Romano’s band with Palle Danielsson and Stefano Di Batista, and joined Michel Petrucciani’s sextet “Young Lions”. He also toured and recorded with Steve Coleman’s Five Elements.
His collaborations include: Richard Galliano, Manu Katché, Tomasz Stanko, Mark Turner, Greg Osby, Marc Ducret, Airelle Besson, Jonathan Kreisberg, Rick Margitza, Miroslav Vitous, Billy Cobham, Abraham Laboriel, Toninho Horta, Peter Bernstein, David Virelles, Gerald Cleaver, Marylin Mazur, Jen Shyu, Jean Michel Pilc, Marcus Gilmore, and Tyshawn Sorey.