3

Mika Pohjola, Dan Loomis, Kyle Struve: Trio Hour

Chris Mosey By

Sign in to view read count
Mika Pohjola, Dan Loomis, Kyle Struve: Trio Hour Mika Pohjola is a man of many talents. He runs the New York-based Blue Music Group—"the small label with big music." He has collaborated on albums of religious and traditional Finnish, Swedish music, given classical recitals, accompanied vocalists Jill Walsh and Johanna Grussner and gigged with diverse jazz aggregations.

It would be a shame if any of this got in the way of his achievement with this album, which presents him with a chance to stand up and be counted as one of the most gifted jazz pianists of his generation.

Playing in the Bill Evans tradition, Pohjola constructs gently swinging, melodic improvisations that are sheer delight; thought- provoking and adventurous. What's on offer is 50 minutes of great music, recorded in two sessions, with no second takes and no over- dubbing. Just creativity of the highest order.

The young Finn has been hailed by Downbeat as "a stylist who possesses enormous chops" and has been praised by Gary Giddins, in The Village Voice for his "substantial improvisations." Yet he's still not exactly a household name among jazz fans. Perhaps because hitherto he has spread his talents too thinly and in too many different directions.

Influenced by his father's record collection, which he says introduced him to jazz, Pohjola works here well within the jazz mainstream, his repertoire comprising compositions by Dizzy Gillespie, George Shearing, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington, Bill Evans (of course) and—no of course about this—that under-rated master of melody of the Swing Era, Jimmy Dorsey.

Sadly, there's an element of past tense about Trio Hour. Pohjola played with Dan Loomis (bass) and Kyle Struve (drums) on a regular weekly basis at his studio on East 14th Street in Manhattan from 2005 until 2009. The numbers here were recorded in 2007; the first four in January, followed by "Turn Out The Stars" and "I'm So Glad There Is You" two months later. Pohjola mixed and mastered the tapes in May 2013.

Regular playing with the trio resulted in what he calls "confidence in the unknown." His aim was spontaneity. He says: "The set list was decided on the recording days, and there was no pre-planning, rehearsal, or arrangement of the songs."

Surely, this—if anything—is what jazz is all about. It's to be hoped the trio will get back together again soon.


Track Listing: Con Alma; Conception; In Your Own Sweet Way; Prelude To A Kiss; Turn Out The Stars; I’m So Glad There Is You.

Personnel: Mika Pohjola: piano; Dan Loomis: bass; Kyle Struve: drums.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Blue Music Group | Style: Beyond Jazz


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Flaga: Book of Angels, Volume 27" CD/LP/Track Review Flaga: Book of Angels, Volume 27
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 14, 2016
Read "Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series Vol. 5
by Doug Collette
Published: October 19, 2016
Read "Live At The Open Gate" CD/LP/Track Review Live At The Open Gate
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 13, 2016
Read "Saturday Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Saturday Songs
by Budd Kopman
Published: June 19, 2016
Read "A Cry For Peace" CD/LP/Track Review A Cry For Peace
by Geannine Reid
Published: October 24, 2016
Read "The Volume Surrounding The Task" CD/LP/Track Review The Volume Surrounding The Task
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 26, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!