Verneri Pohjola | The Dead Don’t Dream
Finnish trumpeter Verneri Pohjola is a tour de force, unquestionably a huge talent and a musician with a commanding and individual voice who is able to bring warmth and stillness to his playing as much as a vibrant intensity. His writing is strong and bold, adept at finding those hooky melodies that jump out at you as progressive, creative and individual. The Dead Don’t Dream is his fourth album on Edition and sixth in total. His recent offerings represent very different yet coherent albums. Bullhorn (2015) was entirely original and placed Verneri firmly on the European scene as the one to watch. Pekka in 2017 saw him interpreting his famous father’s music, bringing a rockier approach and electronics to the party. His latest, Animal Image, was a completely improvised duo with drummer Mika Kallio. Each of these albums challenged Verneri to reach further with his playing, and explore wider soundscapes.
His new album ‘The Dead Don’t Dream incorporates all three styles into one defined and beautifully crafted album. It takes the core band sound of the electric Pekka, features all original compositions and expresses them with the freedom and improvisation explored on Animal Image. On this album Verneri wanted to express both the wider range of sound that the use of electronics contributes, and the more open form and drama that comes from improvisation. This is an album that connects the work on his previous three albums with complete coherence, individualism and creativity.
Cat No: EDN1153
Format: CD / LP/ DN / Streaming
Release Date: 1st May 2020
Verneri Pohjola – trumpet
Tuomo Prättälä – piano & electronics
Mika Kallio – drums and gongs
Antti Lötjönen – bass
Pauli Lyytinen – soprano saxophone & tenor saxophone (on ‘Wilder Brother’ and ‘Suspended’)
Miikka Paatelainen – pedal steel (on ‘Monograph’, ‘The Dead Don’t Dream’ and ‘Suspended’)
1 Monograph 7.33
2 Wilder Brother 5.37
3 Voices Heard 7.44
4 The Conversationalist 6.36
5 The Dead Don’t Dream 8.03
6 Argirro 5.16
7 Suspended 5.13
About The Dead Don’t Dream
Verneri comes from a rich musical heritage. He was surrounded by it growing up and it informed his musical and personal development. He has evolved into one of the most important Finnish Jazz Musicians, and gained a name for himself that has earnt him deep respect as a writer, composer and improvisor. Finland’s uniquely nurturing culture creates from childhood a richness and sense of purpose that provides the environment for powerful creativity. It’s these qualities that are overtly apparent in Verneri’s approach to music making.
On the surface, the album title could reference a darker side but, in fact, this is an album of optimism and opportunity. As Verneri explains: “The music is not necessarily about (or derived from) anxiety or hopelessness, even though there’s plenty of both in our modern society. For me it’s more about breathing in and out, letting go of unnecessary stress, accepting who you are and hopefully becoming a more balanced person. And then again rushing head on to dream into existence the next musical adventure. It’s about embracing life in all of it’s complex emotions, while we still have it. After all, the dead don’t dream.”
The band includes Pekka alumni Tuomo Prättälä on piano, Antti Lötjönen on bass and Mika Kallio on drums, who’s also Verneri’s duo partner.
This album is an artistic work, built from all the influences that have informed Vereri’s life to date. There’s balance in colour, light and dynamic, a deep sense of collaboration and sharing of a common purpose and as an explorer of sound. The music balances freedom and composition, expression and voice. It’s a defining work of Art for Verneri, for Finnish culture and a statement of intent for an artist immersed in the world of European Jazz.