Rull's Royce - Rull's Choice
Featuring Frode Barth, Per Willy Aaserud & Meelis Vind

By: Joosep Sang, "Muusika"
Drummers as bandleaders fall roughly into two groups. The dominant category includes those who like to show off their many-sidedness, almost always reserving time on every track for a drum solo and they like to "challenge" listeners with increasingly complex time changes. The second kind is less frequent. They present themselves as "intelligent" leaders and are a whole lot more than just the rhythm section.

On his new record, Toomas Rull appears in the character of composer, arranger and producer. Sometimes you get the impression that on this record he is more of the above than the drummer.

Rull's band is an Estonia-Norwegian join-venture who's members are Norwegians Frode Barth on guitar and Per Willy Aaserud on trumpet with Estonians Meelis Vind on clarinet, Marek Talts on acoustic guitar, Jürmo Eespere Rhodes on electric piano, Mihkel Mälgand and Taavo Remmel on acoustic bass with Raul Vaigla on electric bass. Together they have give birth to an airy and cool & refreshing Scandinavian style jazz, which demands comparison (intended or unintended) with the Norwegian band Masqualero. The most important aspect or their sound, as well as Rull's, is a clear sounding trumpet, the airy convergence of the bass and drums and the sometimes floating, sometimes-scraping sounds of the guitar.

In jazz drums are often not spoken of only as rhythm tools, but rather as melody instruments and of a large drum kit as a one-of-a-kind orchestra. As strange as it sounds, melody also defines Toomas Rull's drumming. His songs sometimes seem half-improvised and require a great deal of communication between the players in the exchange of ideas. His compositions are static both in harmony, form and "tämbriliselt". The label "Northerly Cool" doesn't lose its relevance even when Jewish or Oriental sounds join the music. This kind of continuity creates a logical whole - but depending on the listener's musical preference it can either lull him or make him yearn for variety. Toomas Rull's new record is definitely good news for Estonian jazz and a clear sign that spring has arrived.