The Squid's Ear Magazine

Innanen / Pasborg / Piromalli: Can You Hear It? (Clean Feed)

Upbeat retro-future jazz with a bit of an acerbic wit, from the organ trio of Finnish saxophonist Mikko Innanen, Danish drummer Stefan Pasborg and French Hammond organ player Cédric Piromalli, in nine diverse pieces from funky swing to lush balladry, with Canadian improviser Lori Freedman providing sharply inquisitive narrative on two pieces.

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Mikko Innanen-sopranino, alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, oboe

Cedric Piromalli-Hammond organ

Stefan Pasborg-drums

Lori Freedman-voice

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UPC: 56509063006490

Label: Clean Feed
Catalog ID: CF649CD
Squidco Product Code: 34156

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2023
Country: Portugal
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
Recorded in E-Studio, in Sipoo, Finland, on July 26th, 2022, by Jyri Riikonen.

Descriptions, Reviews, &c.

"An organ trio like no other, Finnish saxophonist Mikko Innanen, Danish drummer Stefan Pasborg and French Hammond hero Cédric Piromalli are back to twist traditions and confound conventions.

Following on from their gloriously impish Clean Feed debut, 2021's This Is It, comes the uber-fusion feast of Can You Hear It?, an album giving the eminent Blue Note histories of Jimmy Smith, Brother Jack McDuff and Larry Young an extra adrenaline hit, Piromalli souping up the keys for extracurricular soul-fusion kicks and spacing out like Sun Ra hammering the hyperdrive on an interstellar love mission.

These three funky trailblazers sit at the top table of their respective scenes, boasting a combined rap sheet of revered co-conspirators that reads like a heavenly who's-who, the names of those they have worked with including Andrew Cyrille, Han Bennink, William Parker, Wadada Leo Smith, Paul Lovens, Will Guthrie, Tim Berne and Tomasz Stańko. All that combined experience and knowledge is filtered through into the deft chicanery of Can You Hear It?, its nine contrasting cuts finding Innanen, Pasborg and Piromalli at the peak of their expressive powers, effortlessly shifting from muscular swing and riotous retro-futurist vamp to doleful sci-fi séance and poignant balladry in a heartbeat.

During one of her two spoken-word cameos featured on the album, Canadian clarinettist and improviser Lori Freedman acts as the group's surrogate voice piece, accompanied by Innanen's passionately chirruping sopranino and Pasborg's thudding percussive detonations. "Who are we? / Where do we come from? / What do we do? / How do we do? / How do we do it?", she asks in a natty flow of enquiry doubling as a statement of intangible intent, a suitably defiant anti-manifesto from one of the most intrepid, shape-shapeshifting triumvirates active in jazz today."-Clean Feed

Artist Biographies

"Mikko Innanen is a saxophonist, composer and bandleader from Finland. A deft and adaptable improviser, he thrives in settings that span jazz's past, present and future: be it in freely improvised solos, duos or trios, small and large ensembles playing his own compositions, or working as a sideman interpreting other people's music.

His journey through jazz and improvised music began in Loviisa, in small-town southern Finland, where the contents of his father's comprehensive jazz record collection of jazz records led him to pursue the saxophone further. After starting out in local marching and big bands, he studied at Helsinki's Sibelius Academy, during which time he spent a crucial exchange year at Copenhagen's Rhythmic Music Conservatory.

Currently based in Helsinki, Innanen has spent a lot of time on the road, playing throughout Finland, Europe and the rest of the world. The diversity of Innanen's playing and composition is well documented, with a discography of over 50 records. This active touring and recording allows him to continuously expand his network of collaborators, and to find further opportunities to explore the spontaneous creativity at the heart of his musical vision.


Innanen is fluent with all the members of the saxophone family but he describes himself as "basically an e-flat guy," nowadays devoting his energies to the alto, baritone and sopranino. Along with the saxophone language of Charlie Parker and John Coltrane, a key early influence was his first sax teacher, Bengt Ingelin, whom Innanen credits with nurturing his understanding of the importance of basic musical fundamentals.

Innanen's own approach seamlessly links the diverse pathways the saxophone has taken through jazz. Within a single solo he can move from being deep in the melody or exploring complex chord changes to playing in free and far-out areas. He switches between horns just as fluently, incorporating special techniques, reeds from around the world and other little instruments if the situation deems it necessary. "If I find a sound I like, I use it," he says. "I don't want to sound like anybody else, but in the heat of the moment I might also listen to my inner Ben Webster, Sonny Rollins or Ornette Coleman."

Composer & improviser

Innanen's improvising and composition spring from the same source - a dedication to melody and a strong rhythmic foundation. Yet from this base he branches out in multiple directions, from interpreting traditional swing and blues-tinged, and sometimes even schlager-esque melodic themes to setting his own texts to music, exploring more theoretical concepts or reaching for the abstract and unknown. "As in life, in music you need to find a balance between beautiful and ugly, cerebral and carnal, sacred and profane, and fun and serious."

His explorations have ranged from small-scale settings to much larger contexts. The former include solo saxophone performances on a small raft in the middle of the River Aura in Turku, the digital solo project F60.8. and improvised sax/drum duos with Mika Kallio, Simo Laihonen, Andrew Cyrille, Han Bennink and Andrew Barker. His work in ensembles shows a similar range: Mikko Innanen & Innkvisitio, Gourmet, Delirium, Tonight at Noon, Innanen/Piromalli/Hauta-aho/Lovens, Mr. Fonebone, Nuijamiehet, his 12-piece band Mikko Innanen 10+ (the latter even including with a full chorus for one performance), and several trio formations, such as PLOP, The Curators, Mikko Innanen Trio with Joe Fonda and Lou Grassi, Mikko Innanen with William Parker and Andrew Cyrille, Innanen/Sooäär/Bennink Trio, and Triot.

Bandleader & collaborator

When leading, he works to challenge and inspire the other musicians, to give them a reason and purpose for playing his music. He strives for the maximum result in his performances yet realizes that the outcome is always unknowable: "You have to accept that it is what it is, that it couldn't be any other way."

Innanen is an active bandleader, but he is equally at home contributing as a sideman and a featured soloist. His skills and taste as a band member have been trusted by, among others, Stefan Pasborg, Kalle Kalima, Mika Kallio, Teppo Mäkynen, Wadada Leo Smith, Henrik Otto Donner, TUMO, Seppo Kantonen, Per Zanussi, Jori Huhtala, Triade, Ibrahim Electric, Pekka Tuppurainen, Jussi Fredriksson, Iro Haarla & Ulf Krokfors, Admiral Awesome, Espoo Big Band and Trondheim Jazz Orchestra.

Live & in the studio

In the studio or as well as on the bandstand, Innanen seeks to capture openness and take advantage of spontaneity. Though he has an extensive discography, with over more than two dozen records under his own name and a couple few dozen more as a collaborator, he particularly enjoys being in the moment of performance with others, engaging in the direct communication that emerges in front of an audience.

He has performed throughout Europe, though his touring schedule has taken him as far away as South America, Asia and North Africa. In 2008 he began making extended stays and gigging regularly in New York City. These visits culminated in two mini-festivals in Brooklyn in 2012 and 2013, featuring his collaborations with a wide range of world-class improvisers."

-Mikko Innanen Website (

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"Cédric Piromalli- Piano Keyboards

Born in Paris in 1976. After studying classical piano and musicology, his first group experience was Triad Trio (Sébastien Boisseau, Nicolas Larmignat). He then explores the solo game, working on the repertoire of Thelonious Monk. During his time in the Jazz class at the CSNM in Paris, he meets Daniel Humair, whom he will have the chance to follow in various musical adventures. More recently, it is through the Hammond organ that he declares his taste for the swing and creates around this instrument the trio The West Lines and the sextet The West Lines + 3. It is close to the company Nantaise Frasques. In this context, he participated in the project Personal Jesus (music by Guillaume Hazebrouck on a text by Tanguy Viel) and created the trio Quiet. He regularly accompanies Erwan Jan's creations for the Petit Faucheux Children's Choir (Le Bazar à Voix). He enjoys free improvisation, as evidenced by his collaborations with Paul Lovens, Will Guthrie, or Mikko Innanen.

His interest in electric music, the world of rock and song, is realized through his collaborations with guitarist Pascal Maupeu (Mop Meuchiine, Shampoo Meuchiine, Eric Lareine and their children).Cédric Piromalli was an associate artist of Petit Faucheux (Tours) for the year 2013.

Pedagogy is an important part of his musical activity, he teaches at the Jazz school in Tours."

-Citizen Jazz (Translated by Google) (ˇdric+Piromalli)

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"Three time Danish Music Awards-winner Stefan Pasborg is a highly energetic drummer from the melting pot of Copenhagen, and after getting a snare drum, a cymbal and a high-hat at the age of three from renowned jazz drummer Alex Riel, he has developed into one of the most personal and versatile young european drummers / bandleaders - from groove to abstract !

He has performed and recorded with musicians like: John Tchicai, Marc Ducret, Wadada Leo Smith, Ellery Eskelin, Tomasz Stanko, Ray Anderson, Tim Berne, Palle Danielsson, Anders Jormin, Miroslav Vitous, Michael Formanek, Majid Bekkas, Goran Kajfes, Carsten Dahl, Jesper Zeuthen, Alex Riel, Juhani Aaltonen, Dawda Jobarteh, Ståle Storløkken, Mikko Innanen, Liudas Mockunas, Kjetil Møster, Annisette, Carsten Dahl, Jesper Zeuthen, Alex Riel, Lotte Anker and Peter Friis Nielsen among others.

He has toured the most of Europe and in USA, Canada, Africa and Asia - in more than 40 countries, on 5 continents, from Shanghai to Vancouver, from Monte-Carlo to Moscow, from Varanger to Casablanca, and from New York to São Paulo - both as a leader and as a sideman.

He is the founding member of successful bands like: Ibrahim Electric, Pasborgs Odessa XL, Toxikum, The Firebirds, Free Moby Dick, Magic Spirit Quartet, Delirium ... and he plays regularly in duo-settings with kora-virtuoso Dawda Jobarteh (Gam) and pianist Carsten Dahl (DK)... Besides his many bands and projects, he also performs solo-concerts regularly. He is also the founding member of the record label and collective ILK Music.

At Danish Music Awards 2004 he was voted ʻNew jazz-name of The Yearʼ, and his release ʻToxikumʼ was voted ʻJazz Discovery of the Yearʼ.

His first release as a leader - TriplePoint (ILK 2007) - was selected into worldwide TOP 5 'Best Debut Albums of 2007' by the American magazine The New York City Jazz Record, and his release 'Pasborg Odessa X-tra Large' received a Danish Music Award in 2011.

In 2011 Stefan Pasborg was chosen to be Artist-in-Residence at Copenhagen Jazzhouse, and in 2012 the national Danish television (DR) showed 5 documentary programs about him and his bands / projects.

Pasborg has won prices like f.ex. the Soloist-prize at 16th European Jazz Contest 1997 in Germany, the 1st Prize at 5th European Tournament of Improvised Music 2001 in France, Jazznytprisen 2012 in Denmark And finally one of the most prestigious music-prizes in his native Denmark: Gudmanprisen in 2017. He has received grants for artistic work from among others: Danish Arts Foundations, Danish Musicians Union, Norden, KODA, DJBFA."

-Stefan Pasborg Website (

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"Lori Freedman. Born Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 1958. Residence: Montréal, Québec. Composer, Performer (clarinet, bass clarinet)

Qualified as "a musical revolutionary in the front ranks of the avant-garde" by Alex Varty of the Georgia Straight (Vancouver), Lori Freedman (clarinets) is internationally recognized as one of the most creative and provocative performers. She is a member of a select group known as "renaissance musicians" as her artistic activities cover many fields: performer of written music (well over one hundred works have been written for or premiered by her), composer, improviser, teacher, and on occasion, writer. While managing a full performance schedule of more than 75 public appearances a year, Freedman has been receiving commissions to write music for ensembles such as Orkestra Futura, Arraymusic Ensemble, Ensemble Transmission, Continuum Contemporary Music Ensemble, Ensemble SuperMusique, Ensemble Paramirabo, Upstream Orchestra, Queen Mab Trio, Crowbar Trio, Lott Dance, Oberlander Films, Foresite Theatre, Cooke Productions and Autumn Leaf Productions. Her current discography comprises over 59 recordings, the most recent of which include Greffes (Empreintes digitales), On No (Mode Records), Bridge (Collection QB), Plumb (Barnyard Records), 3 and À un moment donné (Ambiances Magnétiques), Huskless! (Artifact), See Saw and Thin Air (Wig). Highlight collaborations include work with Rohan de Saram, Barre Phillips, Helmut Lachenmann, Frances-Marie Uitti, Monique Jean, Joëlle Léandre, Axel Dörner, George Lewis, the Jack Quartet and Richard Barrett."

-ActuelleCD (

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Track Listing:

1. Pratsch 5:23

2. 070520 4:58

3. Earth 6:24

4. Folkman 4:14

5. Skate Parks 6:09

6. Messy Mass 4:44

7. Roy's Message 5:08

8. Who Nation-State Isn't 4:43

9. Love Theme 5:21

Related Categories of Interest:

Clean Feed
Improvised Music
Free Improvisation
European Improvisation, Composition and Experimental Forms
Piano & Keyboards
Trio Recordings
Unusual Vocal Forms
New in Improvised Music

Search for other titles on the label:
Clean Feed.

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