As its name suggests,this album is aimed at an audience familiar with gamelan and tuned percussion, as opposed to the year's other drum trio release by Zach Hill, Janet Weiss and Matt Cameron, a 40 minute rolling improvisation. Here each piece is highly scripted by leader Mika Kallio, and mainly follows lines he lays down on his numerous tuned gongs.
Not that unimpeded and even raucous jamming play no part, but it is small compared to the number of more delicate tunes that fill the album, nine in total. It should be remembered that this is released only in vinyl format at this stage, and so is divided into two distinct collections on either side. Also the spoken word elements, on the opening and two other tracks, are in Kallio's native Finnish and so the initial appeal is very much to a Nordic niche market.
That said, and the concept of three drummers as exclusive instrumentation accepted, this album is surprisingly accessible. The gongs occupy central space, with Kallio's colleagues Anssi Nykänen and Mikko Hassinen filling the same more peripheral spaces, as on stage. Unlike some of Kallio's other experimental work, these pieces flow with great fluidity and some restraint, while preserving the strong sense of interaction and of fun that are such a feature of their live shows. Particularly haunting is the joik-style female vocal on "Päivän ja yön välissä (Between Night and Day)" accompanied by bowed cymbals, before merging into the final track's departing delicate rolls, taps and trills.
Track Listing: SIDE 1 Oletko käskenyt päivän koittavan, Pinpoint Precision, Käsi
Kädessä, Interceptor 1, Sinisiirtymä. SIDE 2 Polymania 1, Trees, Päivän
ja yön välissä, Polymania 2.
Personnel: Anssi Nykänen: drums, percussion; Mikko Hassinen: drums, percussion;
Mika Kallio: drums, percussion, gongs.
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.