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Jazz Articles


High Noon: High Noon

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Finnish guitarist Kalle Kalima has been making records of a distinctly off the wall hue since he started his professional career over 15 years ago in Helsinki. This orientation took him to study in Berlin where he has been based for the last decade. Working mainly with German musicians, he has seen success in Europe both as a cutting edge instrumentalist and composer, but surprisingly this latest album sees him working specifically with covers of country classics. Focusing particularly on ...


Helsinki Festival 2016

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Love Proge Helsinki Festival (Huvila Tent) Helsinki, Finland August 28, 2016 Richard Thompson couldn't have said it better than he wrote in Fairport Convention's first major single Meet on the Ledge: If you really mean it, it all comes round again. That was in 1968, two years after three central players in the Finnish music scene, including the jazz trumpeter and impresario Henrik Otto Donner, set up the label that was to ...


Jukka Perko Avara: Invisible Man

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The three major names in the Finnish jazz world featured here come from three very different corners of the firmament. Jukka Perko achieved global recognition as a youth playing alto and soprano saxophone with Thelonius Monk, while guitarists Teemu Viinikainen and Jarmo Saari are better known in Scandinavia, the latter also for his proggy and pop excursions with XL Finland and Von Hertzen Brothers. Together on this disc they combine these orientations to play an assortment of self-penned and cover ...


The Aki Rissanen Trio plays April Jazz, Espoo, Finland

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The Aki Rissanen Trio Louhi Club April Jazz Espoo, Finland April 4, 2016 Espoo in southern Finland is nominally a city, having its own emblem, transportation system and council though for most people in the vicinity of Helsinki it's merely a close suburb of the metropolis. However every spring it comes into its own hosting the April Jazz festival mainly in the Tapiola Gardens area, heralding the start of the yearly Finnish festival music ...


Maciej Fortuna: Zośka

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Maciej Fortuna is obviously a power to be reckoned with on the Polish music scene, as not only the founder and director of Fortuna-music and a teacher in Poznan's Academy of Music but as a leading jazz trumpeter in the country. On this disc he has invited three stalwart American musicians to join him and together his bandmates have selected their repertoire of six nineteenth century Polish folk tunes, to which are added four of Fortuna's own compositions. It makes ...


Sigudur Rögnvaldsson: Kisima

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If this Icelandic guitarist's music was once described as frenetic and insistent (see this latest recording does nothing to undermine that classification. If anything the new line-up, known as Dark Forest and featuring Johannes Sarjasto sparring opposite Rögnvaldsson on saxophone, is even more genre bending than the previous work, including pieces which are almost placid, and at least reflective. Alongside the bassist from Sarjasto's own quartet Eero Tikkanen, Rögnvaldsson has got himself a powerful, tight rhythm section with drummer ...


Oddarrang at Lavaclub Night in Helsinki

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Oddarrang Club Night Lavaklubi, Helsinki, Finland September 22, 2015 The name of this band itself conjures quite a mystery. Even in its Finnish homeland the word has no apparent association, except possibly the title of the local Saami or Lappish news broadcast, Oddasat! Actually an atmosphere of shamanic intensity is quite a close description of the slowly evolving ethereal webs that this five-piece weave. Led by drummer Olavi Louhivuori, sitting beaming somewhat beatifically ...


Jukka Perko + Iiro Rantala: It takes two to Tango

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This CD from two verging-on-veteran names on the Finnish jazz scene is a little disappointing in its energy, but not in its charm. Jukka Perko and Iiro Rantala have both earned their laurels years back, playing ear-bending, exhilarating jazz, the former with the likes of Dizzey Gillespie in his 1980s line-up and later McCoy Tyner, the latter with Gil Goldstein and then his piano led Trio Töykeät. And of course both have with nearly every Finnish musician of note on ...

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