The melding of these two forces comes across as nothing more or less than an existential journey.
Juhani Aaltonen and Iro Haarla are, by all respects and through all means, two masters of their craft. To see the names side-by-side on a record in full collaboration with one another would be enough to have any free jazz aficionado in awe, but it’s in the sheer breadth of sounds that they each encompass here that makes it a should-listen for all. A now octogenarian Aaltonen’s saxophone styles have not missed a beat in the decades that he’s been contributing to the jazz scene, and he plays altogether with the layers of poise and passion that he has from the beginning in tandem with Haarla’s pensive work on the piano that she has been gracing since the 1970s. The melding of these two forces comes across as nothing more or less than an existential journey, the experimental humanity of Aaltonen’s sax melding together with classically-trained Haarla’s piano to create a series of dense worlds to inhabit and ideas to discover, with flute, harp, and percussion lending itself to the crafting of this ethereal experience well.