Flirting with Forms of Rock

01. May 2016
Teona Lomsadze


When the whole world was celebrating international jazz day, Punane Maja hosted music of the legendary jazz trumpeter – Miles Davis. A desire to celebrate Davis’s 90th birthday brought together two great guitarists – Jaak Sooäär and Raul Björkenheim – on Jazzkaar stage.



According to Davis, music and life are all about style, so Sooäär-Björkenheim Quartet presented one of the most stylish musical images: electric Miles, shaped innovatively with two electric guitars, bass guitar and drums. Raul Björkenheim’s arrangements of the most famous electric compositions of Miles Davis sounded both traditional and new, corresponding to guitarist’s general artistic approach to ‘come up with sounds that are original, but are also a natural consequence of the past’.



As the shape of the compositions were rarely changed, originality was brought mainly by extraordinarily enriching the musical pallet with various sounds and effects produced on electric guitars; long dialogs between two virtuous soloists, structured in different ways of improvising, accompanying or synchronic playing, sometimes creating intensive and somehow intimate sound of Davis’ trumpet. For example, in a solo guitar performance of composition Selim, where Björkenheim imitated trumpet sounds on a guitar, duplicated melody with human whistle (the same element used by Davis in composition Little Church) and in this way created some nostalgic atmosphere, symbolizing missing the great musician.



After this, the concert started to grow both in musical intensity and power. The continuous flow of music was filling audience with enormous energy, moving in a circle between the stage and the crowd. The strong rock elements were made it extremely hard to keep sitting at a seat, restricting your body to freely accompany rhythms. The pulse was running faster and faster, willing to catch the speed of the drums. These intense varieties of sounds created a sort of surrealistic atmosphere, as if you are hearing noise of time machine, bringing you back to Davis.


Sooäär-Björkenheim Quartet (Estonia-Finland-USA) Miles Davis 90

30th April, 8:30 pm at Punane Maja


Raoul Björkenheim – guitar
Jaak Sooäär – guitar
Henno Kelp – bass
Rauno Pella – drums