288

Harri Ihanus: Eye Opener

Matthew Wuethrich By

Sign in to view read count
Harri Ihanus: Eye Opener Swedish-Finnish guitarist Harri Ihanus took the backward route of discovery that many guitar players have. Sparked by rock and blues, he soon fell under the grandiose spell of McLaughlin, Metheny and Coryell, then naturally turned to Pass, Burrell, and horn players like Parker and Coltrane—the roots. And that's where he has stayed. His Imogena debut, Eye Opener, features nine original compositions. They are modest, loose structures that favor relaxed tempos and leave ample space for soloing.

Ihanus’ quartet fluidly interprets his tunes. Tenor saxophonist Jerry Bergonzi delivers strong, lyrical solos, while bassist Filip Augustson and drummer Jukkis Uotila provide a supple, swinging backdrop for both leads. Their support on the ballad “The End” creates smooth transitions between the solos, unobtrusive but firm. They push Ihanus and Bergonzi on “Skating in Spånga” with a brisk tempo, bringing out Bergonzi’s bop side, while allowing Ihanus to unwind spiraling lines and drop in clipped chords and brief accents.

Mid-tempos and soft dynamics are the most prominent here, as they let Ihanus insert tight clusters of single notes and unfurl soft, ringing chords. His tone has the warmth of Montgomery, but it lacks his rhythmic panache. Ihanus prefers suspenseful, hanging chords to riffing, and his solo on “Coming Up” follows Abercrombie’s abstract path. He builds knotty phrases, tying them together, only to let them unravel ambiguously.

Eye Opener never wavers from its traditional base. Ihanus uses effects only once, a lush chorus on the title track, and as a result the album is a refreshing set. The guitar can be a monster instrument, and too often is. Ihanus brings out its gentler, lyrical side.

Visit Imogena on the web.


Track Listing: 1.Walking Max 2.Skating in Sp

Personnel: Harri Ihanus: guitar; Filip Auguston: bass; Jerry Bergonzi: tenor saxophone; Jukkis Uotila: drums

Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Imogena | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Akua's Dance CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Daylight Ghosts CD/LP/Track Review Daylight Ghosts
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Live at PafA CD/LP/Track Review Live at PafA
by Matthew Aquiline
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Ocean of Storms CD/LP/Track Review Ocean of Storms
by Troy Dostert
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Transparent Water CD/LP/Track Review Transparent Water
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 20, 2017
Read Billows Of Blue CD/LP/Track Review Billows Of Blue
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Bombogenic" CD/LP/Track Review Bombogenic
by Dave Wayne
Published: May 21, 2016
Read "Dark Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Dark Blue
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: March 8, 2016
Read "Dharma" CD/LP/Track Review Dharma
by Dave Wayne
Published: August 19, 2016
Read "The Music of Enrico Pieranunzi" CD/LP/Track Review The Music of Enrico Pieranunzi
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 23, 2016
Read "Arctic" CD/LP/Track Review Arctic
by James Nadal
Published: April 1, 2016
Read "Live In Ludwigshafen 1961" CD/LP/Track Review Live In Ludwigshafen 1961
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: June 21, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!