Nov 1, 2011

On a night when most New Yorkers stayed indoors, some 50 Finns and other Scandinavians ventured out, undaunted, in the rain and sleet to the Norwegian Seamen’s Church. Esa Pietila’s 4 Streams Quartet offered some of the best high-class jazz we have heard in a long time, an event co-sponsored by Finland Center Foundation and the American Scandinavian Society. The quartet, consisting of Esa Pietilä on tenor saxophone, Iro Haarla on piano, Uffe Krokfors on bass and Markku Ounaskari on drums, trolled up original compositions which ranged from the delicate to the vibrant and kept their audience rapt. The intimate setting of the Norwegian Seamen’s Church, without the clatter of glasses usually heard in a bar, helped us really appreciate the music. Nordic Breads and Valio provided Finnish rye bread and cheese for the reception afterwards. The group continued to a jazz festival in Quebec, and we hope to have them back in New York soon.