Kirke Karja is a rising talent on the Estonian jazz scene winning the prestigious Estonian Young Jazz Talent award in 2014. Here she helms her eponymous quartet through some mysteriously beautiful music, at times dark and uncompromising, other times introspective, but always with an intensity that is compelling. Compositionally the music is striking and it moves effortlessly between atmospheric soundscapes with a somewhat nordic feel, to fast paced polytonal interplay and inventive rhythmic sketches that demonstrate a broader range of influences from contemporary classical luminaries like Karlheinz Stockhausen.
Throughout she is ably matched in guitarist Kalle Pilli who provides another sonic dimension to the music and a driving rhythm section in bassist Martin-Eero Kõressaar and drummer Karl-Juhan Laanesaar, rounding out this quartet. It’s clear that all four are adept improvisers allowing Karja’s material to be inhabited fully, purposefully. This is music that moves insistently forward, with a strong dynamic that creates the enviable balance of tension and resolution.