Jorma Tapio and Kaski: Aliseen (577 Records/bandcamp)

 |   |  1 min read

Jorma Tapio and Kaski: Aliseen (577 Records/bandcamp)

Opening with a tough but tender and melodic alto piece (reminiscent of Ornette Coleman's tone on the classic Lonely Woman), the Finnish multi-instrumentalist Jorma Tapio and his band immediately grab attention.

That opener Reppurin Laulu – a traditional song from a part of Finland now in Russia – is driven along by the precision playing of drummer Janne Tuomi and bassist Ville Rauhala who keep the steady jogging rhythm which then clicks into double time with handclaps and Tuomi deftly cannoning around the kit.

It's a very striking and impressive opener in its tuneful and minimalist way, but what follows is an album which opens up in many different directions.

Lasten Juhlat may be more Coleman-inspired post-bop (with Rauhala playing arco) in its angularity but the short She's Back is a swinging little West Coast-balmy number for flute.

And at the other end of the spectrum Henkays is a low, breathy and atmospheric piece with wooden flute and washes of cymbals which seems to evoke the chilly snow-covered forests of their homeland.

Siltasalmi is a terrific improvised piece for (mostly) Tuomi and Rauhala in separate but interlocking solo passages.

The ballad mode – where the melodically direct Tapio really shines in the more constrained passages – reemerges on the moody Way Off with turbulent undertow from the rhythm section.

This is an album of different but interrelated moods which exists between frosty Scandinavian elements (although never as austere as some ECM albums out of the region) and the post-bop into free jazz territory staked out in the late Fifties and Sixties.

Jorma Tapio and Kaski certainly get their hooks into you with that opener – the album title means a shaman's journey into the underworld, and it sounds like it on the rattling title track at the end – and rarely let go in a programme of diversity, depth and sometimes (as on haunting folk-influenced pieces like Nukunuku) go where few jazz players would.

.

You can hear and buy this album through bandcamp here.

.southboundshoplogo

Vinyl editions of albums on the 577 Records in Brooklyn can be ordered through Southbound Records in Auckland.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Jazz articles index

Ella Fitzgerald: Ella at Zardi's (Verve/Universal)

Ella Fitzgerald: Ella at Zardi's (Verve/Universal)

Last year was Ella's. It was the centenary of her birth in Virginia and 21 years after her death. Between those two points the great Ella became one of the most sophisticated, classy and... > Read more

Carter/Wilner/Toure/Ughi: New York United (577 Records/Southbound)

Carter/Wilner/Toure/Ughi: New York United (577 Records/Southbound)

They say when you get a dealer you can trust, someone who is reliable and knows what you need, then stick with them. So it is for me with Troy at Southbound Records in... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE POWER OF SPEECH: A Short Story in a Strange Tongue

THE POWER OF SPEECH: A Short Story in a Strange Tongue

I recently spent a rather distressing luncheon engagement with a moderately well-known author. Aside from hearing much invaluable gossip about better known writers than my friend, I was also... > Read more

Marrakech, Morocco: When night comes falling

Marrakech, Morocco: When night comes falling

As anyone who has had the good fortune to go will tell you, Marrakech is a city of noise, especially in the grand central square. Here by day snake charmers and fortune tellers call for... > Read more