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!

5

Jarmo Saari's Republic at April Jazz in Tapiola, Finland

Jarmo Saari's Republic at April Jazz in Tapiola, Finland
Anthony Shaw By

Sign in to view read count
Jarmo Saari's Republic
Louhisali
April Jazz
Tapiola, Espoo, Finland
April 26, 2014

Spring in the north of Europe is long awaited after the long dark winter months, and with the yearly arrival of April Jazz in the eastern Helsinki suburb of Tapiola the ears of the city's musical community inevitably orientate in this direction. Every year this mini festival brings a host of American musicians for solo concerts and for late night interplay with local Finnish musicians. These informal cross cultural gatherings aside, the festival typically also showcases some of the best of contemporary local jazz, this year providing the superb Louhi Club stage for high profile local guitarist Jarmo Saari to introduce his latest project, Republic.

With three professional percussionists behind him one could expect the solo instrumentalist to dig deep into his sonic palette to find the mortar to bind the rhythms. And for the past ten years or so perfecting this palette is what Jarmo Saari has been doing, performing mainly alone in various guises as his solo act Solu (Finnish for 'cell') where his adroit use of loops and effects were supplemented by a glass harp, viola da gamba and occasionally even trombone.

Each of the drummers also came with extensive dossiers from the world of Finnish popular music: Olavi Louhivuori with jazz credentials for his own band Oddarrang, as well as highly respected nu-jazz pioneers, Ilmiliekki; Sami Kuoppamäki, drummer with the legendary former psycho-jammers Kingston Wall and contemporary carriers of the same flame, The Von Hertzen Brothers; and Abdissa "Mamba" Assefa, Ethiopian born but naturalized Finn with a long history of successful collaboration with Finnish artists including accordionist Kimmo Pohjonen with electronic percussionist Samuli Kosminen.

While almost all of Saari's later works have been largely instrumental, in Espoo he put his own voice on display, as well as calling upon the support of two other well respected local singers, soul master Sam Huber, and rapper, singer and environmental activist of Don Johnson Big Band fame, Tommy Lindgren. These guests brought a higher vocal focus, which allowed Saari to focus on his main metier, those enchantingly tweeked guitar sounds and washes that he layers, one over the other, to build a live wall of sound. With all three drummers working surprisingly hard behind him, Saari carried the show with a set of mainly guitar-driven rhythmic power that took everything before it, which only highlighted the contrast in sound when he laid aside his axe for some delicate wand-work with the theremin. If ever there was a sound that defies any seasonal classification this must be it, as refreshing in spring as in any other time of year!

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Jazztopad Festival 2017 Live Reviews Jazztopad Festival 2017
by Henning Bolte
Published: December 13, 2017
Read Vivian Reed at Feinstein's/54 Below Live Reviews Vivian Reed at Feinstein's/54 Below
by Tyran Grillo
Published: December 12, 2017
Read Henry Threadgill at Tilton Gallery Live Reviews Henry Threadgill at Tilton Gallery
by Kurt Gottschalk
Published: December 10, 2017
Read The Brian McCarthy Quartet At FlynnSpace Live Reviews The Brian McCarthy Quartet At FlynnSpace
by Doug Collette
Published: December 10, 2017
Read Mindi Abair at The Empress Theatre Live Reviews Mindi Abair at The Empress Theatre
by Walter Atkins
Published: December 8, 2017
Read BAN BAM: Music Talking Live Reviews BAN BAM: Music Talking
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 7, 2017
Read "Mary Fahl at The Cutting Room" Live Reviews Mary Fahl at The Cutting Room
by Tyran Grillo
Published: November 11, 2017
Read "Lloyd Gregory And Tony Lindsay at Biscuits & Blues" Live Reviews Lloyd Gregory And Tony Lindsay at Biscuits & Blues
by Walter Atkins
Published: December 22, 2016
Read "David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band at Birdland" Live Reviews David Ostwald’s Louis Armstrong Eternity Band at...
by Tyran Grillo
Published: November 25, 2017
Read "38th International Jazzfestival Saalfelden" Live Reviews 38th International Jazzfestival Saalfelden
by Enrico Bettinello
Published: September 15, 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!