Arild Andersen, Paolo Vinaccia, Tommy Smith


After the eruptive excitement of their Live At Belleville album, which was widely praised around the world (and secured for leader Arild Andersen the Prix du Musicien Européen 2008 from the Academie du Jazz in France), the trio now delivers a studio album. In Oslo’s Rainbow, bassist Andersen, tenorist Tommy Smith and Paolo Vinaccia rechanneled their music’s energies into a programme of soulful ballads and mid-tempo free-floating sound explorations. The pairing of Anderson’s muscular bass and Smith’s vaulting tenor is exceptionally compelling (as the recent “Celebration” album also confirmed). Most of the tunes on “Mira” are from Arild’s pen, though his cohorts also contribute material, and there is an unexpected interpretation of Burt Bacharach’s “Alfie”, beautifully played by Tommy Smith here.

Nach der eruptiven Spannung des Albums Live At Belleville, das 2008 rund um den Globus von der Kritik gefeiert wurde (und Arild Andersen den Prix du Musicien Européen der Academie du Jazz in France eintrug), offerieren Bassist Andersen, Saxophonist Tommy Smith und Schlagzeuger Paolo Vinaccia nun eine Aufnahme aus dem Rainbow Studio in Oslo, auf der sie ihre Energie in ein Programm aus seelenvollen Balladen und frei fließenden klangforscherischen Exkursionen in mittleren Tempi kanalisieren. Die Kombination aus Andersens muskulösem Bass und Smiths voluminösem Tenorsound ist dabei besonders bezwingend (wie auch kürzlich ihr gemeinsames Bigband-Album Celebration bestätigte). Die meisten Stücke auf Mira stammen aus Andersens Feder, aber auch seine Mistreiter trugen Kompositionen bei, zudem gibt es als Überraschung eine Fassung von Burt Bacharachs „Alfie“.
Featured Artists Recorded

December 2012, Rainbow Studio, Oslo

Original Release Date


  • 1Bygone
    (Arild Andersen)
  • 2Blussy
    (Arild Andersen)
  • 3Alfie
    (Burt Bacharach)
  • 4Rossetti
    (Arild Andersen)
  • 5Reparate
    (Arild Andersen)
  • 6Raijin
    (Paolo Vinaccia, Tommy Smith)
  • 7Le Saleya
    (Arild Andersen)
  • 8Kangiten
    (Tommy Smith)
  • 9Mira
    (Arild Andersen)
  • 10Eight And More
    (Arild Andersen)
  • 11Stevtone
    (Arild Andersen, Kirsten Braten Berg)
Arild Andersen, Tommy Smith and Paolo Vinaccia previously raised the roof with intense and exultant collective playing on the CD Live At Belleville (recorded in 2007). Widely praised around the world, the album secured for Arild Andersen the Prix du Musicien Européen 2008 from the Academie du Jazz, and was an album-of-the-year choice in France’s Jazz Magazine and Jazzman. “Intensity” can, of course, be defined in many ways and on Mira recorded at Oslo’s Rainbow, the trio re-channel their music’s energies in a programme of soulful ballads and free-floating sound explorations. The combination of Anderson’s muscular and melodic bass and Smith’s vaulting and expressive tenor continues to be exceptionally compelling, and Vinaccia’s approach to ballad-playing is like nobody else’s. Most of the tunes on Mira are from Arild’s pen, though his cohorts also contribute material, with Smith switching to shakuhachi for an improvised dialogue with Vinaccia on “Raijin”. Tommy Smith also shines on Burt Bacharach’s “Alfie”, a tune the trio have been playing as an encore on recent concerts, savouring the prettiness of the melody.

Trio leader Andersen has played in almost every jazz ensemble context over the years, but there is something especially satisfying about hearing him in the bare boned trio format of sax, bass, drums. For long-time Andersen listeners this trio will also trigger memories of Arild in the early 70s, with the Triptykon-trio with Garbarek and Vesala, and the Sam Rivers Trio. The absence of a harmony instrument opens up new space for creative interplay and the three musicians, listening acutely, use it well.