Scorch Trio

(Copyright © 2006 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
Krentz Ratings:
Ritual (1988), 5.5/10
Alive (1989), 5/10
Volition (1991), 5/10
Matinale (1993), 5/10
Revelator (1998), 5.5/10
Apocalypso (2001), 5.5/10
The Scorch Trio (2002), 5.5/10
Luggumt (2004), 5/10
Brolt! (2007), 5/10
Dmg @ the Stone Vol 2 (2008), 5/10
Box Studio 1 (2008), 5/10
Melaza (2010), 5/10
Blixt (2011), 5/10
Made in Norway (2011), 5.5/10
Centering and Displacement (2012), 5.5/10
Out of the Blue (2012), 6.5/10
Ecstasy (2014), 6/10
Malo (2015), 5.5/10
Beyond (2016), 5/10
Live in Finland (2016), 5/10
Doors of Perception (2017), 5/10
Inaugural Sound Clash for the Two Americas (2017), 6/10

Finnish guitarist Raul Bjorkenheim towered in Krakatau's albums Ritual (Hieronymous, 1988 - Cuneiform), Alive (Hieronymous, 1989), Volition (ECM, 1991), and Matinale (ECM, 1993). Bjorkenheim's guitar was in high demand during the 1990s. In particular, he joined Paul Schutze's Phantom City for Site Anubis (Big Cat).

Revelator (Innerhythmic, 1998), containing four lengthy jams, was a collaboration with Nicky Skopelitis, but unusually laid-back and even sleepy for Bjorkenheim's standards.

Bjorkenheim's solo Apocalypso (Cuneiform, 2001) was scored for thirty guitars, eight basses and four drumsets, all played by him in person.

The Scorch Trio was formed by guitarist Raul Bjorkenheim with the rhythm section of bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love (both members of the Thing with saxophonist Mats Gustafsson). Their free improvisation is documented on The Scorch Trio (january 2002), Luggumt (january 2004) and Brolt! (october 2007 - Rune Grammofon, 2008). After Live In Finland (december 2016), Nilssen-Love was replaced by drummer Frank Rosaly on Melaza (2010).

Meanwhile, Dmg @ the Stone Volume 2 (Dmg/arc, 2008) was a collaboration with bassist William Parker and percussionist Hamid Drake, and Blixt (Cuneiform, 2011) was a collaboration with Bill Laswell.

Box Studio 1 (2008) was him with Trevor Dunn (bass), Stale Storlokken (keyboards) and Morgan Agren (drums).

The Scorch Trio of guitarist Raoul Bjorkenheim, bassist Ingebrigt Haker Flaten and drummer Frank Rosaly recorded Made In Norway (may 2011) with guest multi-instrumentist Mars Williams.

Frank Rosaly composed the two suites of Centering And Displacement (Utech, 2012) according to a complex algorithm that mixes computer manipulation and chance. His Malo (february 2015) was no less challenging, manipulating assorted percussion with electronics.

Raoul Bjorkenheim recruited Pauli Lyytinen (saxophones), Jori Huhtala (contrabass) and Markku Ounaskari (drums) for Ecstasy (Cuneiform, 2014) that contains: El Pueblo Unido, with an anthemic Gato Barbieri-esque melody by Pauli Lyytinen's sax and a thundering, jarring guitar solo; the dissonant noir vignette Through the Looking Glass; and especially the dadaistic percussive orgy Subterranean Samba. Its follow-up, Out of the Blue (december 2012), contains some surprises: the sophisticated shuffle for gamelan metallophone and ancient oboe A Fly In the House of Love, which is the exact opposite of the metal-jazz for which the quartet was best known; and especially the ten-minute subliminal suspense of Zebra Dreams, a shroud of sparse sounds against a tense paleo-African beat of percussion and guitar staccatos from which a lyrical saxophone aria slowly rises. Another exotic pearl, OLJ, is perhaps the best display of instrumental prowess: synth-like glissandoes from the guitar, polyrhythmic tiptoeing from the drums, lugubrious bass saxophone phrases. Half of the album is not what one expects. The rest is more conventional, but the jovial whirling swinging Quintrille wins over the metal-jazz frenzy of Uptown. Heads and Tales toys with a half-baked circular melody that coalesces only at the end in a visceral crescendo. However, there is much more to enjoy in the "exotic" pieces than in the hard-bop ones.

Bjorkenheim formed Triad with drummer Ilmari Heikinheimo and bassist Ville Rauhala, which debuted on Beyond (october 2016).

Raoul Bjorkenheim’s Doors Of Perception (june 2017) featured Pauli Lyytinen (bass, tenor, alto and soprano saxophones, wood flute), Jori Huhtala (double bass) and Markku Ounaskari (drums and percussion).

Awakening (november 2016) documents a live collaboration with flutist Juhani Aaltonen of Tasavallan Presidentti and the UMO Jazz Orchestra.

Bjorkenheim's Inaugural Sound Clash For The Two Americas (january 2017) contains the 56-minute suite Against The Empire Of Alternative Facts performed with Bill Laswell (bass), Hideo Yamaki (drums) and two other guitarists, Dominic James and Mike Sopko.

Raoul Bjorkenheim's Solar Winds (april 2019) featured an Italian trio: Silvia Bolognesi (contrabass), Tiziano Tononi (drums, percussion, gong) and Emanuele Parrini (violin).

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