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ALBUM REVIEWS

Markku Ounaskari / Samuli Mikkonen / Per Jørgensen: Kuara: Psalms and Folk Songs

Read "Kuara: Psalms and Folk Songs" reviewed by John Kelman

While early reference points for jazz and improvised music may have come from the Afro-American tradition, global musicians of the 21st century have increasingly looked to their own cultural touchstones for music that speaks to them at a mitochondrial level. If music is a reflection of who we are and what we experience, then it only makes sense for artists to mine their own backgrounds for a place to start, rather than attempting to bring deeper significance to music they ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Samuli Mikkonen: Samuli Mikkonen+7 henke

Read "Samuli Mikkonen+7 henke" reviewed by Matthew Wuethrich

The Austrian artist Hundertwasser once said, “The straight line is not a creative line, it is a duplicating line, an imitating line.” While listening to pianist/composer Samuli Mikkonen’s newest album, Samuli Mikkonen + 7 henkeä, Hundertwasser’s dislike of the straight line entered my thoughts, because Mikkonen’s music also avoids rigid forms. Rather than beat mechanically, his compositions seethe, pulse and drift.

To bring these shifting forms to life, Mikkonen has gathered a veritable who’s who of the ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Samuli Mikkonen: Korpea Kuunnellessa

Read "Korpea Kuunnellessa" reviewed by Matthew Wuethrich

Pianist Samuli Mikkonen’s first album as a leader delves even deeper into the abstract shapes and reflective tempo first explored by the Mikkonen/Jormin/Kleive trio on KOM-live , also recorded in 1998. Joined this time by two other Finnish players, Uffe Krokfors on bass and Mika Kallio on drums, the mood turns darker and the focus shifts ever more towards growing an enigmatic, mysterious atmosphere.

The album’s title, which means “Listening to the Wilderness,” reveals much about the music ...


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