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Back Roads Beat

The 2005 Keitelejazz Festival in ńšnekoski, Finland

By Published: September 2, 2005
How was the show? Well, the bummer is I missed all but the opening couple of songs because I had leave after the opening song to make an overnight drive to catch an early morning flight to France. The stuff I heard was OK, not great, with the worst part being a lack of extended soloing by Weckl in the early going. I suspect that didn't last long.

It's been a few weeks since Keitelejazz ended and invariably when I mention Finland to other players and listeners they bring up several festivals - Helsinki, Pori, Imatra and Tampere, among others - without a single mention of √É‚Äěänekoski. It's hardly accurate to say this is a failing, despite the city's claim the festival is among the country's most notable, given the clear mission of satisfying locals. But for a dedicated jazz fan this almost certainly makes doing part of it as a side trip preferable to making it an end destination - true to Ronkanen's recommendation. There's enough quality in the highlights for someone looking for a respite from the typical festival crush to come away with the feeling of a couple of peaceful days well-spent.

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