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...

3

Jussi Reijonen: Un

Eyal Hareuveni By

Sign in to view read count
The debut recording of Boston-based guitarist and oudist Jussi Reijonen is a remarkable crystallization of musical concepts and influences from the West and in the East. It is also a mature reflection of the musical experiences that Finland-born Reijonen accumulated in all the places that he grew up, including the Finnish Arctic Circle, the Middle East and East Africa.

But more than that, it is the approach that Reijonen, a student of guitarist David Fiuczynski, Palestinian violinist/oudist Simon Shaeen, and Lebanese multi-instrumentalist Bassam Saba, chose for Un. Like a Japanese calligraphy artist, Reijonen opts for the introspective and skeletal, stressing space and silence over extrovert virtuoso playing. This humble decision enables him to comprise varied elements organically into his compositions.

Reijonen is well-versed with the Middle Eastern traditional scales (maqamat), as "Srepentine" and "Bayatiful" reveal. He articulates and ornaments their themes with brilliant oud playing and, on "Bayatiful," offers a rich, imaginative interplay with Palestinian kanun player Ali Amr. But he also introduce a Western, jazz-based concept of improvisation and Spanish-tinged rhythmic approach.

His irreverent interpretation of saxophonist John Coltrane's "Naima" is characterized by a reserved Nordic attention to space and time as well as a lyrical, chamber jazz atmosphere. Its gentle, minimalist interplay between ethereal fretless guitar lines, double bass, piano and percussion emphasizes the intimate mood. On the breezy "Tounami," Reijonen uses a fretted guitar to create nuanced and subtle lines, similar to the West-African kora. He continues with this kind of serene and meditative playing on his Indian-tinged duet with bassist Bruno Raberg, bending the strings of his fretless guitar to emulate the sound of an Indian sarod.

"Kaiku," with Eva Louhivuori's breathy, wordless vocals, summarizes Reijonen's rich musical language. Subtle, detailed and collaborative, it is concise and playful at the beginning, slowly fading into an implied, abstract texture.

Reijonen's musical universe has no frontiers. It is a beautiful, sensual mosaic of traditions and influences.

Track Listing: Serpentine; Naima; Bayatiful; Toumani (Blues For Mick); Nuku Sie; Kaiku.

Personnel: Jussi Reijonen: guitar, oud; Utar Artun: piano; Bruno Råberg: acoustic bass; Tareq Rantisi: percussion; Sergio Martinez: percussion; Ali Amr: qanun (3); Eva Louhivuori: voice (6).

Title: Un | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Interviews
Album Reviews
  • Un by AAJ Italy Staff
  • Un by Eyal Hareuveni
  • Un by Hrayr Attarian
Take Five With...
Read more articles
Un

Un

Self Produced
2013

buy

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Barriers Album Reviews
Barriers
By Karl Ackermann
February 16, 2019
Read Fractal Guitar Album Reviews
Fractal Guitar
By John Kelman
February 16, 2019
Read The Early Bird Gets Album Reviews
The Early Bird Gets
By Mark Corroto
February 16, 2019
Read The Newest Sound You Never Heard Album Reviews
The Newest Sound You Never Heard
By Jerome Wilson
February 16, 2019
Read Think Big: Like Me Album Reviews
Think Big: Like Me
By Paul Naser
February 16, 2019
Read Melodic Ornette Coleman: Piano Works XIII Album Reviews
Melodic Ornette Coleman: Piano Works XIII
By Karl Ackermann
February 15, 2019
Read Free Fall Album Reviews
Free Fall
By Peter Hoetjes
February 15, 2019