Tapani Rinne & Juha Mäki-Patola: Open

Helsinki-based duo echo 2021's Floating Points and Pharaoh Sanders collaboration but focus on the minimalist end of the spectrum

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Nearly worn out your copy of Floating Points and Pharoah Sanders’ Promises from last year? Hankering for more in the same vein? Here’s a good place to start – in fact Open Part II could almost be an outtake from that album.

Like Sanders, Finnish tenor Tapani Rinne delves deep into breathy harmonics and multiphonics. And while he’s 20 years younger than Sanders, his playing here does not reach the legend’s ecstatic peaks. Instead he explores the more subdued, minimalist end of the Promises spectrum, augmenting the sound with long, contemplative bass clarinet notes.

Partner Mäki-Patola sets up slowly evolving drone foundations, usually on synthesizers, sometimes with tinkling piano adornment. Mostly they underpin Rinne’s playing, but sometimes surge to the fore as on the record’s longest piece, the six-minute Fall.The result is elegant ambient without cloying New Age prettiness that would fit on the Norwegian shelf of the ECM roster.

The electronic-organic interface has driven most of Rinne’s career. He emerged in the 80s playing free jazz with drummer Edward Vesala and guitarist Raoul Björkenheim, then moved on to dubby techno-jazz and folk fusions with RinneRadio, indigenous vocalist Wimme, accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen, DJ Slow and others. In recent years, he’s focused more on meditative sound design for yoga, dance, films, art installations and railway stations.

In comparison, Mäki-Patola is a relative unknown who released his solo debut in 2020 after playing with various local rock, pop and jazz musicians, including bassist Ville Rauhala. On this pandemic project created between the two artists’ home studios in Helsinki, he doesn’t push Rinne into any radically new territory, but provides warm support. 

Ground-breaking or bold? No. Soul-satisfying, wise, comforting, endlessly repeatable? Absolutely. 

Discography
Brevity; Open Part I; Still; Distant; Leave; Peak; Open Part II; Hope; Fall; Hover (43.10)
Rinne (s, cl); Mäki-Patola (syn, p, org, g). Helsinki, 2021.
Hush Hush Records