All About Jazz

Home » Articles » Live Reviews

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Oddarrang: Espoo, Finland, November 18, 2011

Oddarrang: Espoo, Finland, November 18, 2011
Anthony Shaw By

Sign in to view read count
Espoo, Finland
November 18, 2011
Finnish drummer Olavi Louhivuori and his band Oddarrang returned to the stage with the sparse chamber-style jazz from their second album in the elegant setting of Espoo's Cultural Center, just outside Helsinki. As expected from a group whose debut album was released four years previously, and with only a few gigs in the ensuing years, this performance was concentrated if not tenuous to begin with, but consolidated as the evening progressed.
With all musicians except Louhivori hunched over their stands, it was clear this music was more reverential than reverberant. Their style of largely acoustic experimentalism, laid down with Music Illustrated (Texicalli, 2007), featured pieces written by Louhivuori, but introduced and led by clear melody lines played almost in rotation by all four instrumentalists. The mix of acoustic timbres, particularly trombonist Ilmari Pohjola and Osmo Ikonen's cello, contrasting Lasse Sakara's clean electric guitar, determined the dynamic within the band, with only muted tension or interaction between the musicians. While it was clear that this band has one collective foot firmly in a classical shoe, space for the individual expression was clearly available.
"Prayer," the opening number of both Oddarrang's new CD, Cathedral (Texicalli, 2011), and this concert, indicated that the new material offers a clearly spiritual dimension, if names are any indication of intent. This may reflect the fact that the music was written and recorded around the time of the birth of Louhivuori's first child, to whom this album is dedicated (along with his wife, singer Emma Salokoski), or it may just be that slow tempos, contemplative themes and modest use of electronics are the features which the leader highlights in his music, just as he did with the first album.

With the same line up now for six years, this quintet's sound is surprisingly free of strong rhythms, instead dominated by the flowing melody lines from everyone excluding Louhivuori—cello and trombone to stage right, bass and guitar to the left. Two exceptions were "Prayer" introduced by Louhivuori at the piano, and Ikonen's "Funeral" led by a prerecorded church organ and whose powerful climax demonstrated that this band can stretch out and rock, but it is not their primary intent, and in this respect bears comparison with that of trumpeters Nils Petter Molvaer and Jon Hassell.

With the dynamic within a band so restrained, music may become merely accompaniment to another experience—typically a visual one, real or imagined. Louhisali's first-class projection facilities were well-utilized in the meditative backdrops produced by the collective OiOi (a Finnish expression roughly translating as woah). Slowly evolving naturalistic horizons, subdividing grids or glimmering astral vistas— all in shades of black and white—were inspired images reminiscent of film director Stanley Kubrick's awesome visuals in his 1968 masterpiece, 2001: A Space Odyssey. Abstract and ever evolving, these intriguing images clearly matched the contemplative, sacred approach to music-making offered by Louhivuori and Oddarrang.

Photo Credit
Courtesy of OiOi Collective


Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
Read more articles


Edition Records

In Cinema

In Cinema

Edition Records


Related Articles

Read 2018 Hope College Jazz Organ Summit Live Reviews
2018 Hope College Jazz Organ Summit
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Vlatko Stefanovski's performance at the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra's Concert Hall 2018 Live Reviews
Vlatko Stefanovski's performance at the Macedonian...
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 23, 2018
Read Noa Fort at Cornelia Street Café Live Reviews
Noa Fort at Cornelia Street Café
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Cologne Open 2018 Live Reviews
Cologne Open 2018
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 21, 2018
Read Jon Faddis at The Wheel Live Reviews
Jon Faddis at The Wheel
by Mark Sullivan
Published: March 20, 2018
Read Dixie Dregs at Lincoln Theatre Live Reviews
Dixie Dregs at Lincoln Theatre
by Eric Thiessen
Published: March 18, 2018
Read "Brilliant Corners 2017" Live Reviews Brilliant Corners 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Alfa Jazz Fest 2017" Live Reviews Alfa Jazz Fest 2017
by Thomas Conrad
Published: July 11, 2017
Read "Derek Bailey // Three Presences at Cafe Oto" Live Reviews Derek Bailey // Three Presences at Cafe Oto
by John Eyles
Published: March 8, 2018