Brooklyn-based saxophonist Jonah Parzen-Johnson presents an inspired set of music for baritone sax and electronics, captured at Helsinki's We Jazz Festival in December 2018. The mood of the set is intense, with Parzen-Johnson's powerful music blending perfectly with the spacious feel of the room. His commentary in between songs gives the set a communal feel, which can now thankfully be revisited in the warm spirit of this wonderful evening of music.
Here's what Jonah says about it:
"I perform in a constant state of reaction. Rather than reaching for a specific compositional framework, or textural aesthetic, I’m looking for a partnership. Like any real partnership, I will sometimes expect more than I deserve, and sometimes compromise more than I feel like I should. I will recalibrate, doubt, become overconfident, challenge, experiment, give, and be grateful. But regardless of the state of our partnership, I will always remind myself that nothing I create can exist without the connection between me and those who choose to listen.
The concert in Helsinki was a special iteration of this partnership. I’m still learning how to adjust to environments where basically everyone is a stranger, but by the end of these kinds of shows I often feel a warmth and affinity that used to feel very rare. When I listen back to the recordings I hear the sound of rain water rushing from the roof and the unique decay of sound reverberating through the bespoke space, and instantly feel a sense of gratitude as I relive the partnership at the core of this set, and imagine being able to share it with you."
"Helsinki 8.12.18" by Jonah Parzen-Johnson is a part of the ongoing "We Jazz Live Plates" series documenting the label's live activities.
released June 7, 2019
We Jazz Records
Jonah Parzen-Johnson, baritone saxophone & electronics
Produced by Jonah Parzen-Johnson & Matti Nives
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Juho Luukkainen