It can be interpreted as quite the democratic statement when an album from a saxophonist is introduced with an almost two-minute long drum solo that solely focuses on the percussive qualities of the instrument. Which is exactly what drummer Mika Kallio does on the opening segment of the Finnish saxophonist Pauli Lyytinen's sophomore album with the Magnetia Orkesteri. It doesn't take a professional translator to figure out that this quartet's name has something to with magnetism and is referred to as an orchestra. Merit of the latter part of the name is earned only minutes into the wildly deconstructed opener "Feeniks." Acoustic soundscapes are carved out between sparse bass stabs, cymbal rushes and sustained trumpet sighs guiding an intense saxophone monologue. This is an orchestra alright.
Follow-up "Teknojazz" hungrily jumps at the listener, grounded by driven staccato bass lines to a straightforward drumbeat. Trumpet and saxophone work in unison for the presentation of a theme whose melodicism is built around the systematic walk through the diatonic steps. Here and elsewhere on the disc, little rubato segments are spread across the compositions and lend an extra pinch of dynamism to an already breezy display of tight music-making. Between Verneri Pohjola's round trumpet tone and Lyytinen's smoky sax, the lack of a chordal instrument isn't so much a lack as it is an advantagegiving the quartet the room it needs to toss and turn, bend and stretch around the melodic and harmonic framework.
Mika Kallio switches to gongs for the atmospheric "Polynesian Prayer." Pohjola's airy trumpet technique is at the center of the ambient exhibition and sees his stardom as a trumpeter justified. Not only is his technique utterly singular, but his melodic language proves to be unique and unparalleledeven in comparison with the idiosyncratic horn styles being created States-side by the likes of Ralph Alessi or Ambrose Akinmusire, whose expressive slurs do come to mind at times here.
Continuing down this unforeseeable path, Hypnosis offers plenty of unexpected changes in pace, temperament and atmosphere. A punkish attitudemainly spawned by the rockish drumbeatdefines "Multidimensional Banquet" and once again finds the two horns delivering a memorable melody in unison and staying together for the bigger part of the presentation. The light-hearted air and catchy phrases of the tune are a welcome breather before "Hypnosis" and "Rhodiola Rosea" return to the more deconstructed nature of the quartet, which often finds an important friend in the rubato treatment of measures and bars. "Message from Utopia" is a quiet and then noisy provocation of what interplay is supposed to sound like according to the rule book. Of course, there is no such thing as a rule book, which is exactly what the closer testifies to. More hungry jazz from Finland in the vein of the other Finnish label We Jazz Records, attesting to the exciting musical landscape the country has been conjuring.
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