Six years after the much-loved “Northbound” – described by All About Jazz as “lovely, articulate, river-deep music” - , a new album of emotionally-powerful ballads from outstanding composer-pianist-harpist Iro Haarla and her remarkable Finnish-Norwegian ensemble. The line-up is unchanged, likewise the commitment of the players, top-flight improvisers, every one. “Vespers” continues a tradition of music - and a scope feeling - that Iro helped establish in the Far North in her years as arranger/orchestrator for Edward Vesala’s bands (and magical ECM recordings including “Lumi”, “Ode To The Death Of Jazz”, “Invisible Storm” and “Nordic Gallery”).
Iro has, furthermore, composed music for the UMO Jazz Orchestra (in 2002 for Tomasz Stanko as soloist, and in 2006 for a “UMO plays Haarla” event in Helsinki and for a suite of pieces premiered in Tampere). In 2008, at the instigation of Manfred Eicher, she premiered new music for string quartet and piano and harp in Helsinki.