167

Mika Pohjola: Landmark

Glenn Astarita By

Sign in to view read count
Mika Pohjola: Landmark Pianist/composer Mika Pohjola represents one of those rare entities in modern music as his often-complex compositional style generally yields straightforward and easily attainable results. A musical mind at work for sure; however, Pohjola’s uncanny knack for integrating sonorous melodies with multi-layered and intricately formulated arrangements elicits notions of listener-friendliness.

With Landmark, Pohjola garners strong support from New York City-based guitarist Ben Monder, alto saxophonist Miguel Zenon and others for a multifarious and deeply stylized program. On the opening title track,Pohjola employs harpsichord, synths and Fender Rhodes piano atop the rhythm sections’ bustling pulse and Johanna Grussner’s harmonious wordless vocals. Here and throughout, Monder and Zenon engage in lilting choruses, poignant lines and make excellent use of space and depth. Conversely, Pohjola acts as the painter via his quaintly executed synth treatments, and acute sense of swing and rhythm. Meanwhile, Johanna Grussner provides the Midas touch on several pieces including the quasi hymn-like, folk melody titled, “Reppurin Laulu.”.

The divergent mix continues on the hard-driving “Young In The 80’s,” as Monder puts the pedal to the metal for some blistering, supercharged guitar work in concert with Pohjola and Zenon’s anthem-like choruses.

The pianist provides lucid imagery with a maturely stated melody on “Old Couples Lullaby”; whereby Monder’s dusky mid-tone electric and Grussner’s warm vocalese trigger the emotive elements.

Overall, there’s a lot to get excited about during this superbly crafted set, largely due to the leader’s creative spirit and unassailable infatuation with the jazz vernacular.


Track Listing: Landmark; Screen Play; A Ballad About Something; Future apparent; Psalm 549; Old Couples lullaby; Young In The 80.

Personnel: Mika Pohjola: piano, Rhodes, harpsichord, DX7 and sampling.

| Record Label: Abovoice | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 22, 2017
Read The Invariant CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Mark Sullivan
Published: February 22, 2017
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 "Sharpener" CD/LP/Track Review Sharpener
by Nick Davies
Published: December 21, 2016
Read "Today" CD/LP/Track Review Today
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 10, 2016
Read "Skronky Tonk" CD/LP/Track Review Skronky Tonk
by James Nadal
Published: June 18, 2016
Read "The Sparrow" CD/LP/Track Review The Sparrow
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 15, 2016
Read "Hera" CD/LP/Track Review Hera
by Glenn Astarita
Published: September 25, 2016
Read "All My Treasures" CD/LP/Track Review All My Treasures
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: November 20, 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!