Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

51

Herd Trio: Helsinki, Finland, March 29, 2012

Herd Trio: Helsinki, Finland, March 29, 2012
Anthony Shaw By

Sign in to view read count
Herd Trio
Koko Jazz Club
Helsinki, Finland
March 29, 2012

With their emergence onto the Finnish scene in 2009 in the national competition for the Nordic Jazz Comets award (won that year by the Icelandic Ingemar Andersen Quartet) the Herd trio have been making waves in northern waters ever since. This gig, however, in the newly opened premises of the Koko Jazz Club—now across Helsinki's very short 'Long Bridge' and behind Hakaniemi Square—was their first in the capital since the band had performed at the opening of the town's brand new, state-of-the-art Music House in September 2011.

The two venues could hardly be more different: the earlier event on the pristine 'vineyard layout' main stage, broadcast to the nation to showcase the wide variety of excellent music to be heard there; the latter from the converted antechamber of a local theatre, re-equipped with quality reproduction system and tasteful photo-montage decoration, but maintaining the intimacy of its former premises with a pleasing range of second hand art-deco sofas and chairs. And the range of music within the boundaries of a vibraphone-led trio is the attraction, too, of this young team of jazz pros.

In fact, to classify the band as being led by the mallets of Panu Savolainen could be misleading. Although the concert opened with his recently composed "Tango for Berlin," named for his current residence, the evening picked up tempo and tension with Erik Satie's "Gnossienne nr. 1" arranged by bassist Mikko Pellinen, and then his own composition "Farewell." All the players have considerable experience playing outside this ensemble, and brought this as well as compositional skills to their repertoire.

Inevitably, though, it's Savolainen who was most in the spotlight, leading from the front of the stage and composing four of the evening's ten numbers. Using a wide range of attack, his versatility dispelled any prejudice that the vibraphone is suitable only for lounge bars and accompanying lizards. Many of the band's pieces are low key at heart, but are as likely to lurch into disturbed seas as to stay in the gentle mainstream, as in Pellinen's intriguing "Dreams and Fears." Drummer Tuomas Timonen's confident, often straightforward, but never straight-laced solos appeal to a rock-related audience, with some soft tom passages combining with Savolainen's romantic melody lines to resemble early Pink Floyd. But along with Pellinen's unshowy bass, the band proved that their limited recent exposure hasn't blurred the lines of their instincts for tight interplay and exploration of a modern groove—despite, if not because of, their avoidance of any sound manipulation and their tight, classic approach to the music.

Photo Credit
Maarit Kytöharju

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Ostrava Days 2017 Live Reviews Ostrava Days 2017
by Martin Longley
Published: November 23, 2017
Read Diane Schuur at Birdland Live Reviews Diane Schuur at Birdland
by Tyran Grillo
Published: November 20, 2017
Read Pat Metheny at Belfast Waterfront Live Reviews Pat Metheny at Belfast Waterfront
by Ian Patterson
Published: November 19, 2017
Read Crosscurrents at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor Live Reviews Crosscurrents at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: November 15, 2017
Read "Lance Canales & The Flood At Biscuits & Blues" Live Reviews Lance Canales & The Flood At Biscuits & Blues
by Walter Atkins
Published: June 27, 2017
Read "Houston Person at Kiawah Island, South Carolina" Live Reviews Houston Person at Kiawah Island, South Carolina
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: January 10, 2017
Read "2017 Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland" Live Reviews 2017 Tri-C JazzFest Cleveland
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: July 3, 2017
Read "Los Lobos at The Barre Opera House" Live Reviews Los Lobos at The Barre Opera House
by Doug Collette
Published: February 4, 2017
Read "Alfa Jazz Fest 2017" Live Reviews Alfa Jazz Fest 2017
by Thomas Conrad
Published: July 11, 2017
Read "The Tom & Jamie Show at the College Street Congregational Church" Live Reviews The Tom & Jamie Show at the College Street...
by Doug Collette
Published: March 29, 2017

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!

Please support out sponsor