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Jussi Reijonen: Playground of Sound and Texture

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Jussi Reijonen is an exceptional musician. On his debut recording as a leader, Un (Self Produced, 2012), the Finnish guitarist/oudist has succeeded in crystallizing a spectrum of influences, sounds and textures into a highly personal, sensual mosaic that blurs the distinction between jazz, Middle Eastern traditional music, West African music, and even Finnish folk elements. Since his childhood, Reijonen has been a citizen of the world. He was born in a small town above the Arctic Circle in northern Finland, but moved with his family to Amman in Jordan, then back to Finland, followed by Dar es ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jussi Reijonen: Un

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The debut recording of Boston-based guitarist and oudist Jussi Reijonen is a remarkable crystallization of musical concepts and influences from the West and in the East. It is also a mature reflection of the musical experiences that Finland-born Reijonen accumulated in all the places that he grew up, including the Finnish Arctic Circle, the Middle East and East Africa. But more than that, it is the approach that Reijonen, a student of guitarist David Fiuczynski, Palestinian violinist/oudist Simon Shaeen, and Lebanese multi-instrumentalist Bassam Saba, chose for Un. Like a Japanese calligraphy artist, Reijonen opts for the introspective ...

CD/LP/TRACK REVIEW

Jussi Reijonen: Un

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Finnish guitarist/oudist player Jussi Reijonen's debut, Un, seamlessly blends multiple ethnic influences into a stimulating whole, crackling with vitality and innovative spirit. The opening “Serpentine" is a sonic tapestry of both eastern and western motifs. His sinuous oud and Palestinian percussionist Tareq Rantisi's resonant beats contrast nicely with Turkish pianist Utar Artun's more western sensibilities. Artun's elegiac lines flow over Swedish bassist Bruno Råberg's and Spanish drummer Sergio Menendez's deeply soulful vibes. The two currents weave around each other, making for undulating and mellifluous improvisations. Levantine influences dominate the more traditional “Bayatiful" that features ...

TAKE FIVE WITH...

Take Five With Jussi Reijonen

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Meet Jussi Reijonen: Born in Rovaniemi, a small town on the Arctic Circle in northern Finland, fretted/fretless guitarist and oudist Jussi Reijonen is truly the product of a world with few frontiers. Having grown up moving back and forth between Finnish Lapland, the Middle East, and East Africa, and currently living in Boston MA, USA, Jussi has spent his life soaking up the sounds, scents and shades of Nordic, Middle Eastern, African, and now American culture, which are all reflected in his music.Along his path, Jussi has worked--as bandleader, sideman, composer or arranger--with numerous front row ...



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