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

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Prophone PCD 117



1. Laavu [7:37] 2. Laki mii [6:29] 3. Maahinen [3:14] 4. Siks oon mä suruinen [6:28] 5. Nyt! [5:28] 6. Vaellus [4:59] 7. Uusi vuosi [5:08] 8. Jaahas [1:59]

Teemu Viinikainen (guitar), Ville Herrala (double bass), Mika Kallio (drums & percussion)

Rec. May-June, 2011

Prophone PCD 117 [44:51]


When a disc doesn’t give a total time I let my cd player tell me it so imagine my surprise to discover it read that there were 8 tracks when the cover and insert listed only 7, however, track 8 doesn’t play for another three minutes after the end of track 7 so you’ll need to programme it to do so or wait – weird or what! Finnish jazz is on the rise as another recent disc I reviewed shows, and very good it is too. Though tracks 3 and 8 are a little too ‘contemporary’ for my liking most are very tuneful, all are originals and were written by leader Teemu Viinikainen, apart from Maahinen which is a joint effort by all three member of the trio and track 4 by Toivo Kärki. The first track Laavu is a very nice laid back tight little number and shows Viinikainen’s prowess on guitar, which is considerable, as well as his able backers in the shape of bassist Herrala and drummer/percussionist Kallio. I wish there had been translations of the Finnish titles as I’m sure clues to the music lie therein. Track two is also very enjoyable with some really fast and intricate playing from the trio – could Laki mii mean ‘Lucky me’ – no, Finnish has dozens of ways to describe sun slanting through trees so is far more complex a language for that to be true – surely? * Maahinen is a bit less tuneful and a bit too off the wall for me but it may grow on me over time. ** Siks oon mä suruinen is a gentle ballad which is beautiful in its simplicity while the album’s title track Nyt! bursts with energy ending with an audible “whoop!” from one of the trio, after which we can relax again with Vaellus, a contemplative tune that has a whiff of eastern mystery about it brought about by the use of the gong. The penultimate track is another soft and gentle tune in which there is a dialogue between guitar and bass that is very satisfying. The “bonus” track is a brief piece of “free” jazz and I can now reveal, having listened to the disc several times that ** means that both tracks 3 and 8 have indeed “grown on me” and only proves you should give things time rather than judging on a first hearing. The other * means I’ve gone to a translation website and the following are its transactions of the titles: 1. Lean to (though Bivouac was another possibility), 2. Law acts as... 3. Gnome (or Hobgoblin), 4. Why I’m mourning, 5. Now! 6. Hike, 7. New Year. I couldn’t find anything for Jaahas – well it wasn’t meant to be there anyway! All in all an interesting disc showing that a guitar-led trio can work even though it means that a lot rests on the guitarist, and that Finnish jazz is coming on apace!

Steve Arloff

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