Jazz Finland Festival/European Jazz Conference Hotel Crowne Plaza/Various Venues jny: Helsinki, Finland September 18-21, 2014 When the steamship RMS Andania docked in the port of Helsinki in 1926 it unloaded more than just cargo. The American jazz group the Andania Yankees that disembarked stayed for two months and effectively kick-started jazz in the Finnish capital. Today, Finnish jazz is in rude health and it was the mission of the Finnish Jazz Federation to showcase a broad cross-section of its finest up-and-coming jazz talent to the two hundred or so jazz professionals gathered in Helsinki ...read more
Black Motor with Verneri PohjolaFlow Festival, The Balloon StageHelsinki, FinlandAugust 11, 2013On the last day of the summer holidays, and under what's typical seasonally unpredictable weather, a large crowd gathered in downtown Helsinki for Scandinavia's urban music event, Flow Festival. Black Motor Trio began its set with a tunes featuring its usual bravado and panache, ably abetted by Finland's decorated trumpeter, Verneri Pohjola. This was the same lineup as on its recent release Rubidium (TUM records, 2012), where the band successfully interwove Pohjola's more melodic pieces with its usual free jazz repertoire. The band frequently ...read more
Black Motor is Finland's leading trio of free jazz that began to gain a wider recognition outside Finland in recent years. Since its foundation around 2005, the central Finland, Tampere-based proletariat trio expanded its muscular, uncompromising post-Albert Ayler and Peter Brötzmann approach as it began to collaborate with fellow, innovative Finnish improvisers as saxophonist Juhani Aaltonen, guitarist Raoul Björkenheim and bassist Teppo Hauta-aho, as well as circus acts, dancers, poets , rap artists and DJ's. Helsinki-based trumpeter Verneri Pohjola, who collaborated live before with black Motor, has a different approach, lyrical and melodicaly rich, as featured on his recordings with ...read more
Just going by the name, for those unfamiliar with the thriving Scandinavian jazz scene, a group calling itself Black Motor might be mistaken for a heavy metal rock band--a smash-and-crash set of drums, a blasting three-chord guitar and a wall-shaking bass wrapped around bellowed lyrics. But the real Black Motor, a drums/bass/saxophone outfit--joined on Rubidium by trumpeter Verneri Pohjola--is a Finish improvising jazz unit of the first order.When a quartet consisting of two horns, bass and drums, with no chording instrument, is mentioned, comparisons with alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman's groundbreaking groups of the late fifties and early sixties ...read more
Finnish trumpeter/composer Verneri Pohjola comes from a well-established family of jazz musicians: both his father, famed bassist Pekka Pohjola, and his younger brother, trombonist Ilmari, join him here. Pohjola was voted Musician Of The Year by Finnish jazz critics in 2004, but Aurora is his debut as leader. This is a work of immense beauty which benefits not only from Pahjola's expressive trumpet playing and writing, but also from exceptional musicianship from every single one of its 15 players. The album's tour de force is the intriguing and dramatic For Three," a hauntingly lovely tune. At its ...read more
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