Agatha 2 is a composition of Finnish pianist-vocalist Kerkko Koskinen for saxophonist soloist Linda Fredriksson and UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra and is the second chapter of the Agatha saga that began with trumpeter Verneri Pohjola and UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra fifteen years ago (Ricky-tick, 2007). Agatha 2 marks the first new work to be released by Helsinki’s Ricky-Tick Records – in collaboration with fellow Helsinki-based We Jazz – for over 10 years. Ricky-Tick is known as the home of The Five Corners Quintet, Timo Lassy, Stance Brothers, and many more.
Koskinen describes this ambitious-cinematic composition as one that has a «melancholy, somewhat nostalgic mood… not something dark or grim, perhaps more akin to something beautiful ending and the ‘saudade’ that comes with it». Koskinen plays and sings only on one, the last piece (and acts as a producer), but Koskinen and Fredriksson’s mutual appreciation and deep understanding shine throughout this moody composition with its touching, Fellini-like atmosphere. Fredriksson recorded before with Koskinen Kollektiv and he is honored as an advisor to Fredriksson’s acclaimed debut album Juniper (We Jazz, 2021).
Fredriksson and UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra color the emotional, melodic themes of Koskinen with the commanding elegance, compassionate humor and playful beauty of a jazz big band. Agatha 2 also revisits Koskinen’s composition of his now-defunct art-rock band Ultra Bra and highlights also the role of Seppo Kantonen. Koskinen plays and sings (in Finnish) «Quiberon» and cements the jubilant, sentimental atmosphere of Agatha 2.
Kerkko Koskinen (p, v), Linda Fredriksson (bs, bcl), Mikko Hassinen (cond), Max Zengr (as, cl), Mikko Mäkinen (as, cl, ss), Jari Perkiömäki (bs, bcl), Manuel Dunkel (ts, fl, afl), Marko Portin (ts, fl, afl, bcl), Kasperi Sarikoski (tb), Pekka Laukkanen (tb), Mikael Långbacka (btb), Mikko Mustonen (tb, tuba), Mikko Pettinen (tp), Teemu Mattsson (tp), Tero Saarti (tp), Timo Paasonen (tp), Juho Kivivuori (b), Antti Lehtinen (perc), Markus Ketola (dr), Seppo Kantonen (p)