Tanel Ruben Quintet feat. Kadri Voorand and Kristjan Randalu

tanelruubenTanel Ruben – drums
Kristjan Randalu – piano
Raivo Tafenau – saxophones
Taavo Remmel – bass
Kadri Voorand – vocals

Tanel Ruben Quintet is pretty much a line up of laureates of The Elion Jazz Award Winners, which is the most prestigious jazz-related acknowledgement in Estonia. Only one is given out each year, and in different years Tanel Ruben, Raivo Tafenau and Kristjan Randalu have got it, adding Kadri who has won the sister award “The Young Jazz Talent of the Year”. Voorand has created lyrics for Rubens compositions and one could hear instrumentalistic approach by the vocalist probably due to the fact that the the lyrics have been created after the music not changing Rubens use of rhythm. Most of the melodies have also maintained the logic and sound of an instrument, so the vocalist seems more of an instrumentalist, equally playing the role with all the others in the band, being and improvising instrumentalist. Whereas Tanel Ruben, the leader of the band, has also always been interested in electronic music, it can be said that one can hear a fusion of acoustic and electronic music, the mainstream and the non-mainstream, jazz and non-jazz, interesting combination that is connected through his specific way of writing and the band having a strong unique sound as a group.

Tanel Ruben has become one of Estonia’s most influential and famous jazz drummers known as an extremely active and versatile musician. He did not start his music studies with drum lessons, however; instead, he first became acquainted with the accordion and the double bass in a music class and a music school. Tanel has still devoted his interest and energy mostly to playing drums and composing. As a result of that, he now has numerous multifarious projects, him being the creative leader. At the same time, he also actively participates in projects and ensembles called into existence by other people in Estonia as well as abroad. Cooperation has brought Tanel together with many different musicians from Europe, Russia and the United States. Just to name a few of them: Anders Jormin, Brian Melvin, Ray Blue, Jukka Perko, Yasuhito Mori, Lembit Saarsalu, Kristian Blak, Andrei Kondakov, Sergey Manukyan, Leonid Vintskevich, Raimonds Pauls, Valeri Leontyev and many others. In April 2008, Tanel was awarded the title of Estonia’s jazz musician of the year the Elion Jazz Award, which is issued by Elion, a telecommunications company, and Jazzkaar, the international jazz festival.