After two successful albums on the German ACT label, trumpeter Verneri Pohjola finds a new home from the UK.
Edition records is an indie label founded in 2008 by Dave Stapleton and photographer Tim Dickeson. The Cardiff based company has already developed a formidable reputation as one of the leading and most forward thinking jazz labels in Europe. Its roster includes prominent and respected artists like Marius Neset and Tim Garland.
Verneri Pohjola is one of Finland’s finest jazz talent, and he has been in the international spotlight for the past few years, and is acknowledged as a jazz star in the making. He might not be that well known in the UK jazz scene, but the new deal with Edition Records will surely help.
We had a little chat with Dave Stapleton, the man behind Edition Records.
So, Dave, when was it that you first heard Verneri Pohjola?
"I first saw Verneri back in 2006 at the Bath Festival in the UK when he came over to play with Ilmiliekki – Back then I wasn't running Edition so I didn't pursue any further interest. I then of course kept seeing his name in various places particularly when he signed to the German ACT label but it wasn't until I came to the great We Jazz Festival in December 2013 that I heard him again and met him."
"His music inspires, not only as a listener but as a composer too. I feel he's got that perfect balance between composed and improvised and being able to draw an audience in with the smallest sound and simplest ideas with real emotion to igniting a new dynamic level in a moments notice. I find that very exciting!"
We know that Pohjola has gained a lot of success in Germany. But what about UK? Do you think that the British jazz audience will find him? Or has it already?
"He's played in Britain a few times already so he's not completely new here but I think being signed to a British label will certainly help to raise his profile here further and I'm confident the British audiences will really like what they hear."
Verneri Pohjola is the third Finnish artist in Edition's roster. Is there something special about Finnish jazz?
"I've been asked this a few times. It was never intentional to sign a few Finnish artists but I think the music as naturally attracted me for it melancholic and melodic nature. Certainly Oddarrang, Alexi Tuomarila and Verneri all encompass these ingredients in their music. There's also something about the way of life that I've seen in Finland that seeps through into music."
Verneri Pohjola’s new album featuring pianist Aki Rissanen, bassist Antti Lötjönen and drummer Teppo Mäkynen will be released in early 2015 from Edition Records.