Kalle Kalima (b. 1973) began his musical studies on the piano at the age of six but switched over to the guitar some five years later. Kalima studied at the Sibelius Academy (1995 - 2003) in Helsinki and at the Hanns Eiler Conservatory in Berlin under the guidance of Raoul Björkenheim and John Schröder, respectively, among many others. After taking up residence in Berlin with his family in 2000, Kalima has continuously broadened his musical expression and has performed with a number of leading proponents of free improvisation both in Finland and internationally, including trumpeter Tomasz Stanko, saxophonist Juhani Aaltonen, pianist Heikki Sarmanto, bassists Sirone, Teppo Hauta-aho, Carlos Bica and Ed Schuller, guitarist Marc Ducret, composer Simon Stockhausen and vocalist Linda Sharrock. He also frequently performs with Jimi Tenor in the realm of alternative pop/rock music. In addition to Europe, Kalima has performed in Africa, Asia and the United States.
Kalima regularly performs with a number of groups representing distinctly different approaches to improvised music. These include the jazz improvisation of two guitar trios, Johnny La Marama (with bassist Chris Dahlgren and drummer Eric Schaeffer) and Klima Kalima (with bassist Oliver Potratz and drummer Oliver Steidle), the freely pulsating improvisation of Momentum Impakto (with saxophonist Daniel Erdmann and drummer John Schröder), the melodically rich, folk-influenced lieds of Soi Ensemble (with lyricist Essi Kalima, vocalists Johanna Iivananinen, Eeppi Ursin and Merzi Rajala, cellist Riikka Lampinen, organist Mikko Helevä and percussionist Mongo Aaltonen) and the free improvisation and avant-garde influences of K-18 and the Kalima-Kalmisto Duo (with Teppo Hauta-aho). Kalima has also performed alone, using different effects and preparations in addition to his guitars, and has been featured as a soloist with larger ensembles, including a concert of Kalima´s own compositions with the UMO Jazz Orchestra in September 2009.
Kalima´s prior recordings include three recordings with Johnny La Marama (Johnny La Marama, …Fire! and Bicycle Revolution), two recordings with Klima Kalima (Helsinki on My Mind and Chasing Yellow), two recordings with Momentum Impakto (Haw Haw and Hyvä Bändi Livenä), two recordings with Soi Ensemble (Pehmeä and Koiperhonen) as well as recordings with the Kalima Trio (with Marc Ducret: Hippycone), Jazz Paracites (Very Early), Bica Klammer Kalima (A Chama do Sol) and Kalle Kalima Pentasonic (Iris in Trance).
Mikko Innanen (b. 1978) is a saxophonist and composer who graduated with a Master of Music degree from the Jazz Music Department of the Sibelius Academy in 2003. Innanen spent one year of his studies - fall 1998 and spring 1999 - in Copenhagen at the Rhythmic Music Conservatory, where he studied with and befriended a number of Danish and other students, leading to collaborations that still continue today. In 2008, Innanen received the Yrjö Award of the Finnish Jazz Federation as the jazz musician of the year.
Innanen currently often performs with his first longstanding group as a leader, Mikko Innanen & Innkvisitio (Paa-Da-Pap, TUM CD 019). He is also well known for his participation as a co-leader, saxophone player and composer in various collaborative groups, such as Delirium (with trumpeter Kasper Tranberg, bassist Jonas Westergaard and drummer Stefan Pasborg: Eclexistence, TUM CD 010), Triot (with bassist Nicolai Munch-Hansen and Stefan Pasborg), Gourmet (with trombonist Ilmari Pohjola, Veli Kujala, guitarist Esa Onttonen, tuba player Petri Keskitalo and drummer Mika Kallio), the Mikko Innanen-Jaak Sooäär-Han Bennink Trio (with guitarist Sooäär and drummer Bennink: Spring Odyssey, TUM CD 015), the Mikko Innanen-Mika Kallio Duo, Mr Fonebone (with trombonist Antti Rissanen, pianist Kari Ikonen, bassist Tuure Koski and Mika Kallio) and Nuijamiehet (with Kalle Kalima, bassist Lasse Lindgren and Mika Kallio). In addition, he has played and recorded with a number of other well-known artists such as saxophonists John Tchicai (with Triot: Sudden Happiness, TUM CD 008) and Liudas Mockunas, trumpeters Ingrid Jensen, Herb Robertson and Anders Bergcrantz, bassist Joe Fonda and virtually all of the musicians active on the Finnish jazz scene. More lasting collaborations have included Pasborg´s Odessa 5 (led by Stefan Pasborg), the Iro Haarla-Ulf Krokfors Loco Motife (Penguin Beguine, TUM CD 011), Teddy Rok 7 (led by drummer Teppo Mäkynen), Itchy (saxophonist Jacob Dinesen, bassist Jeppe Skovbakke and drummer Rune Kielsgaard), Triade (pianist Cedric Piromalli, bassist Sebastian Boisseau and drummer Nicolas Larmignat) and the UMO Jazz Orchestra.
Veli Kujala (b. 1976) received his Master of Music degree from the Sibelius Academy in 2004. Although Kujala has won several prizes in international competitions for soloists and for concert accordion in the field of classical music, he has also become well-known for his interest in improvised music. In recent years, Kujala has performed improvised music with a number of ensembles ranging from the Brazilian influenced Pipoka (with tuba player Petri Keskitalo and guitarist Jarmo Julkunen) and the ecletic jazz group Gourmet (with Mikko Innanen and others) to the freely improvising Kaski (with saxophonist Jorma Tapio, bassist Sampo Lassila and percussionist Janne Tuomi) and Kujala´s duo with trombonist Jari Hongisto. Kujala has also frequently performed in France, including with Unit (saxophonist Matthieu Donarier, trumpeter Laurent Blondiau and bassist Sebastien Boisseau) and with Yolk Collective (with saxophonist Alban Darche, trombonists Daniel Casimir and Jean-Louis Pommier and bassist Sebastien Boisseau).
Kujala has co-operated with a number of contemporary composers and has premiered accordion concertos by Pekka Pohjola and Markus Fagerudd. He has also performed works by composers Kalevi Aho, Frierich Goldmann, Pasi Lyytikäinen, Uljas Pulkkis, Osmo Tapio Räihälä, Tomi Räisänen, Vesa Valkama, Olli Virtaperko, Matthew Whittall and Helmut Zapf and has performed as a soloist with numerous chamber and/or symphony orchestras.
Kujala´s collaboration with composer Sampo Haapamäki led to the invention of a new instrument, the quarter-tone accordion, which is used by Kujala on this recording. Sampo Haapamäki´s concerto for this instrument, entitled Velinikka, was premiered by Veli Kujala and the Insomnio Ensemble in Amsterdam in 2008.
Teppo Hauta-aho (b. 1941) first began playing bass by ear without any formal musical education. After learning the basics of prima vista, he was admitted to the Sibelius Academy in 1963 and studied bass with the legendary Oiva Nummelin, receiving his diploma in 1970. He also studied bass with Frantisek Posta in Prague during late 1960s and early 1970s. Between 1965 and 1972, Hauta-aho was a member of the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra and, from 1975 until his retirement in 1999, a member of the Finnish National Opera Orchestra.
Throughout his career, Hauta-aho has continued to play improvised music alongside with his career as a classical musician and composer. During the 1960s and 1970s, Hauta-aho was a member of a number of important Finnish jazz groups including the Juhani Vilkki Sextet (with guitarist Juhani Vilkki, saxophonists Pekka Pöyry and Stanley Lindroos, pianist Eero Ojanen and drummer Pekka Tirkkonen) and Quartet (with Vilkki, Lindroos and Tirkkonen), the Pekka Pöyry Quartet (with Pekka Pöyry, Eero Ojanen and drummer Esko Rosnell), Kalmisto Klang (with Pekka Pöyry, Seppo Paakkunainen, trombonist Mircea Stan, trumpeter Mike Koskinen and drummer Edward Vesala), the Tuohi Quartet (with Seppo Paakkunainen, pianist Heikki Sarmanto and Edward Vesala), the Mircea Stan Sextet (with Seppo Paakkunainen, saxophonist Pentti Lahti, Mircea Stan, pianist Vladimir Shafranov and drummer Reino Laine) and the Kalmisto Quartet (with Seppo Paakkunainen, trumpeter Jarmo Sermilä and drummer Jukka Wasama).
Hauta-aho has also performed as a member of the George Russell Big Band, the Mal Waldron Quartet, the Anthony Braxton Octet and, from 1998 until 2001, the Cecil Taylor Quintet (with saxophonist Harry Sjöström, cellist Tristan Honsinger and drummer Paul Lovens). More recently, Hauta-aho has been a member of the Olavi Trio (with trombonist Jari Hongisto and drummer Olavi Louhivuori), the Kalima-Kalmisto Duo (with Kalle Kalima), Sound Kitchen (with Jari Hongisto and guitarist Hasse Poulsen), the Töölö Bass Trio (with bassists Erik Siikasaari and Heikki Virtanen) and Quintet Modern (with Harry Sjöström, trombonist Paul Rutherford, violinist Phil Wachsmann and Paul Lovens). In 2005, Hauta-aho released a recording of improvised duos with pianist Eero Ojanen (Duo Nueva Finlandia: Short Stories, TUM CD 012).