This is the fourth album Sunna Gunnlaugs has released with her Iceland-based trio and it's the first time she’s added another musician to the mix. The Finnish trumpeter Verneri Pohjola had been on her radar for a few years and they had been in touch about possibly working together at some point. When the trio was invited to Finland to play at the Tampere Jazz Happening, it was the opportunity they had been waiting for.
After their performance in Tampere we went to the studio at the Sibelius Academy near Helsinki to record and stay for a couple of days. The result is "Ancestry" an album of new trio compositions (and improvisations) as well as five pieces for quartet. It also resulted in some time in the studio sauna.
The music is an extension of the mesmerizing melodic explorations for which the trio has become known. But with the addition of trumpet and all the aesthetic subtleties that Pohjola manages to wring from every note of his instrument the music takes on a new dimension. There are definitely Nordic overtones (as the title track would imply) but the program is also quite varied with compositions by each of the musicians, among them a tune dedicated to Kenny Wheeler. There is also a surprising deconstruction of George Michael’s hit “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go” in a nod to Gunnlaugs’ teenage years.