Absolute Ensemble K.Järvi

Absolute Ensemble,
directed by Kristjan Järvi
Dave Taylor bass trombone
Denman Maroney prepared piano
Matt Herskowitz piano

Kristjan Järvi was 7 years old when his family left Estonia for the United States in 1979. Music was the family business: His father, Neeme Järvi, was the former music director of the Estonian National Opera and National Symphony Orchestra and in 1990 became the music director of the Detroit Symphony. His eldest brother, Paavo Järvi, will become the music director of the Cincinnati Symphony in the fall of 2001. Kristjan also received a thorough classical training and worked as an assistant and guest conductor with several international orchestras but as a youth he had also discovered rock and pop music by such as Abba, the Beatles, Run DMC and Police.

Given this passion for contemporary music of all styles, it is not surprising that in 1993 he founded the Absolute Ensemble, an electro-acoustic "classical band" with 18 core members, all of them outstanding instrumentalists. The ensemble performs a wide spectrum of modern music: chamber works by composers ranging from John Adams to John Zorn; innovative transcriptions of works by classical masters; music from composers whose roots are in jazz and rock and sometimes even something like the Schönberg Chamber Symphony No. 1. Depending on the orientation of the music, the Absolute Ensemble presents itself under different names like Scratchband, Absolute Mix, Architectonics, Music in a Chamber and Blood on the Floor.

The ensemble´s new album, a co-production between Swiss Television SF DRS and ENJA RECORDS, was initiated and supervised by Swiss-American composer and sax player Daniel Schnyder. He is also among the composers who contributed to this program - all of them inspired by both contemporary classical techniques and rocking, popular vibes. With his Concerto for Bass Trombone (featuring incredible virtuoso Dave Taylor) and his adaptation of Jimi Hendrix´ "Purple Haze", Schnyder marks the borders of the wide stylistic field presented. Says Kristjan Järvi: "As reflected in this album and inspired by the infinite spectrum of musical styles, we present a new take on music, culture, and tradition. Are you ready for Absolution? Let´s dance..."