All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

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...

10

Verneri Pohjola: Pekka

Friedrich Kunzmann By

Sign in to view read count
On this sophomore release with Edition Records Verneri Pohjola reinterprets the music of his late father, Pekka Pohjola. Pekka was an internationally acclaimed jazz- fusion/progressive-rock multi-instrumentalist, best known for his chops on the bass during his ventures in the 70s and 80s, collaborating, among others, with Mike Oldfield. Due to his father having been educated primarily in classical music, the compositions, while very diverse and at times Frank Zappa influenced, often integrate classical cadences that tend to allude to more orchestral arrangements while staying very much in the realms of modern jazz.

The album opens with "The Dragon of Katkavaara," a piece originally found on the 1980 release "Kätkävaaran Lohikäärme." The song starts off with some electronic percussive elements setting the mood for a slow oriental melody, led by trumpet and guitar. As soon as this comfort zone is reached, the guitar switches into a brutal fuzzy overdrive and a sluggish chorus kicks in. At this point Verneri breaks free from the ensemble and threads along the lines of near dissonance, reminiscent of Miles Davis' soloing on "Bitches Brew" with the electronics returning for closure.

"First Morning" begins with a blissful introduction of the main theme, led by beautiful fluid lines on the guitar and a very clear trumpet. The two instruments rotate the melody while Tumo Prättälä and the rhythm group care for a tight background. Not unlike the first tune Pekka then slides into a trumpet solo that comes very close to the borders of the abstract, but never forgetting the harmonic landscape it is bound to. Tumo replaces Pekka for a more harmonic approach to the melody opening up the board for a beautiful finish by guitarist Teemu Viinikainen.

The quiet interplay that is "Inke and Me" barely comes to halt when it is directly contrasted by the speedy polka anthem "Pinch." Antti Lötjönen and Teemu Viinikainen get their moments to shine here. It is at this point that the album starts to shift into more ambient soundscapes. "Madness Subsides" sees the electronic elements recurring though never falling into a repetitive pattern but on the contrary building up and breaking down a multitude of different melodic concepts over the 13 minutes.

With "Benjamin" the band takes a quiet, melodious path, paving the way for the dreamy finish, "Innocent Questions." Here Pekka's trumpet soars vulnerably naked in a room of reverb, barely accompanied by Tumo Prättälä and Teemu Viinikainen. It is interesting to compare these reinterpretations with the original versions by his father. At the same time it is just as interesting and overwhelming to hear them completely detached from that specific context, which is probably the case for most folk on the U.S. Side. Verneri treats these pieces as if they were his own and they implicitly become exactly that.

Framed in a very clear and spacious production (recorded and mixed by Mikko Raita, mastered by Svante Forsbäck) this music sounds very new, exciting and emotionally authentic. He had the following to say at the end of the original press release: 'Rediscovering the music was an emotional and therapeutic exercise for me and recording the album provided me with the perfect way to remember him as a father and musician.' This process can be heard on this recording.

Track Listing: Dragon; First Morning; Inke and Me; Pinch; Madness Subsides; Benjamin; Innocent Questions.

Personnel: Verneri Pohjola: trumpet; Tuomo Prättälä: Fender Rhodes; Teemu Viinikainen: guitar; Mika Kallio: drums; Antti Lötjönen: bass.

Title: Pekka | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Edition Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

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

Pekka

Edition Records
2017

buy
Bullhorn

Bullhorn

Edition Records
2015

buy
Rubidium

Rubidium

TUM Records
2013

buy
 

Triologia

TUM Records
2012

buy
 

Aurora

Texicalli Records
2009

buy

Related Articles

Read Dreams And Other Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams And Other Stories
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2018
Read The Nook CD/LP/Track Review
The Nook
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2018
Read Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations CD/LP/Track Review
Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 22, 2018
Read Moments Before CD/LP/Track Review
Moments Before
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 22, 2018
Read From The Vault: No Security, San Jose '99 (2CD + SD Blu Ray) CD/LP/Track Review
From The Vault: No Security, San Jose '99 (2CD + SD...
by John Kelman
Published: September 22, 2018
Read with whom you can be who you are CD/LP/Track Review
with whom you can be who you are
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 21, 2018
Read "Solo" CD/LP/Track Review Solo
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 13, 2018
Read "The Literature" CD/LP/Track Review The Literature
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 22, 2018
Read "Summerwind" CD/LP/Track Review Summerwind
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 16, 2018
Read "Melodious Drum" CD/LP/Track Review Melodious Drum
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 21, 2018
Read "The Invariant" CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by David Rocheleau-Houle
Published: December 22, 2017
Read "GRANITE" CD/LP/Track Review GRANITE
by Roger Farbey
Published: August 22, 2018