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Mika Pohjola - piano
Roberto Dani - drums
Matt Penman - bass (1, 4, 8, 12, 16)

Riverside is a duo project by pianist Mika Pohjola and drummer Roberto Dani, with guest bassist Matt Penman appearing on five tracks.

The three gentlemen are known from Pohjola's 90's trio, exclusively performing Pohjola's intricate compositions. However, here Pohjola and Dani turn into a freewheeling mode, improvising several aspects of duo interaction as well as moods ranging from jazz (even bluesy sounds) into contemporary classical influences. When Penman joins, the role architecture turns into a more common piano trio. Most notably, the trio tears apart Bill Evans' classic composition Turn Out the Stars, with endless amounts of rhythmic displacements in a 6/4 edition.

This recording was made in Pohjola's East Village studio apartment in one room straight into two tracks with no overdubs or editing.

The improvisations of Riverside are not unlike Sound of Village, a project by Pohjola and multi-instrumentalist Yusuke Yamamoto, which exclusively works on similar concepts. However, Riverside could be described as being somewhat closer tied to the jazz tradition, whereas Sound of Village frequently draws ethnic straws from around the world.

Riverside is an important document by Pohjola and Dani, who can successfully invent a mood and interaction from next to nothing. The album concludes with the fresh-from-the-oven performance of Pohjola's Summer Garden, also performed by Pohjola's MikaSonik fusion-like ensemble.


Released 2020

by Mika Pohjola
with Roberto Dani