Finnish guitarist Kalle Kalima has been making records of a distinctly off the wall hue since he started his professional career over 15 years ago in Helsinki. This orientation took him to study in Berlin where he has been based for the last decade. Working mainly with German musicians, he has seen success in Europe both as a cutting edge instrumentalist and composer, but surprisingly this latest album sees him working specifically with covers of country classics. Focusing particularly on tunes from the cinema, as with his three earlier releases with the avant-garde K-18, Kalima here selected highly recognizable pieces from Stan Jones' Ghost Riders in the Sky to Marty Robbins' El Paso, and in addition to the title piece three by cinematographic composer Dimitri Tiomkin. With the exception of a march by Sibelius and Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah, the melodies are pure country to which Kalima applies his broad technique. In addition to his jazz scales and phrasing, Kalima here explores the fundamental sounds of those country forebears like Luther Perkins and Chet Atkins, varying the tone from delicate washes from his e-bow and a regular hair bow to regular downhome flat back picking, steel slide and exquisite use of the natural harmonics of his guitar. Support and inspiration is credited particularly to fellow Berlin resident but Los Angeles born bassist Greg Cohen, whose early listening habits coincided with Kalima's own first guitar teacher, instilling in them both a love of country sounds. Max Andrzejewski on drums brings a edge to the rhythm, while keeping his contributions mainly sparse. These skills enable the band to take a simple melody like that of Jack Thorpe's Little Joe the Wrangler and push it into a pulsating, bravura fusion romp. So although this album is a departure for the Kalima in terms of genre, it has been close to his musical nature from the beginning, and fits with his own legacy of edgy but unadorned guitarism.
Track Listing: Santy Anno; Ghost Riders In The Sky; Ballad Of The Alamo; Jääkärimarssi; Lännen Lokari; High Noon; El Paso; Hallelujah; Little Joe The Wrangler; Man Of Mystery; The High And The Mighty; The Green Leaves Of Summer; South Of The Border.
Personnel: Kalle Kalima: guitar; Greg Cohen: double bass;
Max Andrzejewski: drums.
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz.
Being a Musician myself, (Lead Guitar/Bass Guitar), I studied at the Dick Grove School of Music with Dick Grove, Jeff Richman and Lee Ritenour. This was around '84-'85. I started playing the Guitar in November 1967. Playing Guitar came quite naturally to me thank goodness. Though I spent hours upon hours practicing while my school buddies were doing Sports.
It was in the early '70s that I really got into Jazz, Jazz Rock, Jazz Fusion and World Music. Seeing Weather Report, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Larry Carlton, Steely Dan, John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, RTF, Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters, VSOP, Freddie Hubbard and so many, many more amazing artists opened my eyes to the beauty and eloquent nature of Jazz. I really love the brilliant ensemble playing that is in Jazz!!
When I play and write music, it blends so many style together. Many fans ask me why my playing sounds so jazzy. It's because I understand Blue Notes, the phrasing, the tonality, time signatures and more. I can also play Rock, Folk, Soul, R n' B and other styles too. I seem to gravitate more and more as I get older to a jazzier style. Currently I'm 62 years old. I have released 2 CDs world-wide. Working on my 3rd.
I also teach Guitar/Bass/Music Theory to my students. They range from 6 years old to much, much older. (I was hired by the City of Aurora, CO to teach ages 6-13 specifically). Currently I teach 41 children in 5 classes. Additionally another 7 private students.
My wife, Meesh, and I love Jazz dearly. It was one of the things that we share together!
Most of the people that I know today do not get jazz. I try to explain what to listen for, but many times the music of Jazz is a bit much for them. So be it.
In a nutshell, I live, breath and listen to Music 24/7. No TV except the Food Channel and Weather.
I love John Kelman's articles. They are so insightful and well-constructed!
Thank you all for doing what you do.