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Reviewers: Tony Augarde [Editor], Steve Arloff, Nick Barnard, Pierre Giroux, Don Mather, Glyn Pursglove, George Stacy, Sam Webster, Jonathan Woolf

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  1. Mutual
  2. Kabul
  3. Quiet Boy
  4. New Morning
  5. Weaver of Dreams
  6. Tetragon
  7. Transition
  8. Commitment

Joonatan Rautio (tenor and soprano saxophones, pump organ Commitment)
Ville Herrala (bass)
Joonas Riippa (drums)
rec. March 2010 at Magnusborg Studios


The young Finnish saxophonist Joonatan Rautio has crafted a Coltrane-inspired set with his trio. The tightly integrated threesome prove enviably fluent musicians, and have the capacity to lull one, as they do in the opening track, which opens with deceptive reserve. Soon the stakes are raised, before equilibrium is again restored - the symmetry thus engendered is attractive. Crisp rhythm informs Kabul, alongside plenty of trademark Coltrane flurry. One notes too the busy drumming of Joonas Riippa who makes something of a fetish of this in Quiet Boy. That things can lighten, though, is clear from New Morning where the saxophonist even lightens his tone; if only dynamics were varied more often, but then this is an endemic complaint of the jazz community, for whom playing in noisy clubs has engendered a `turn it up to 10' mentality.

Rautio dons the soprano sax for Tetragon. In his hands and in so many post-Coltrane players' hands, the result sounds like an over-excited oboe. Riippa is again a clattery presence, the bass solo far better. Talking of which, though he is largely solo-free during this date, bass player Ville Herrala is a tower of strength. He takes a good solo on Weaver of Dreams but elsewhere he provides sterling work. He is particularly subtle and effective on the title track, which also happens to be the catchiest and best track. Slow and reflective, this tune encourages Rautio to explore the lower register of his tenor in a way he is not prepared to do whilst swimming in Coltrane-infested up-tempo waters. This lyricism points to an inherent strength and one wishes it could have been heard more often.

Jonathan Woolf

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