The festival was a touching reunion for the musician and the listener, writes Katri Kallionpää.
Felt clubs flying into the air in the middle of a drummer’s solo, a brass plate falls, slamming to the floor. The saxophonist plays a little extra outro when the rest of the band has already finished. The notes drop from the rack and spread along the stage. A blissful smile spreads to the guitarist’s face as the audience’s encouragement makes the Band transcend itself.
Details that in no way get involved when listening to the album, but only with live music. These and many fun little “mocha” were seen at the main concert of the Kerava Jazz held over the weekend on Saturday. They tell the listener sitting on the face of the mask that the callers are not machines, but living, sentient people who come to the stage to reveal their souls to the listeners. The festival was a touching reunion for the musician and the listener.
“It’s pretty nice. I haven’t played on stage since February 12, ”said the guitarist Raoul Björkenheim sincerely.
Small but the theme of the high-quality Kerava Jazz this year was to be the international bands of Finnish musicians – more precisely, guitarist Raoul Björkenheim, saxophonist Mikko Innanen and composer-pianist Eero Hämeenniemen international bands. Korona changed the theme to Finnish bands of Finnish musicians.
Didn’t bother: The lineups were at least new to me and thus exotic. At the festival, I also heard the first songs composed during the Corona Exception.
That was the case, for example He. Innanen attached a draft of the song to his letter, which he sent to a Dutch drummer To Han Bennink April 21. On May 4, he composed the song Where Corona Can’t Play and three days to reach the song 070520.
Innanen said that he sketched some of his songs with the so-called “dice method”, ie by drawing lots.
Perhaps he wanted to strip the romance attached to the work of composing and emphasize the freedom of his music from melodic and harmonious clichés. The power of the songs came above all from the tight rhythm, groove and passionate forward tempo.
But power was also born of emotion, as in the song that Innanen owned to the recently deceased poet Pekka Kejonen.
In Innanen’s case, the energy of music also springs from humor, as in the song Plenary, which Innanen described as “political and strongly consensus-seeking”.
And the truth is: Innanen’s phono solo was well heard by the President Anu Vehviläinen pain as he tries to keep the parliamentary budget debate in check. Aki Rissanen the piano solo was sad as an opposition leader Petteri Orpon view of the state of the country and Uffe Krokforsin the contemplative bass reminded the finance minister Matti Vanhanen reflections on Finland’s indebtedness. The actual expert in the band was, of course, the drummer Reino Laine, who has previously served as a Member of Parliament himself.
The main concert was opened by the composer-pianist Eero Hämeenniemen band.
As a jazz musician, Hämeenniemi is a new acquaintance for me. Wikipedia reports that he is a docent in composition at the Sibelius Academy, who is familiar with Indian music, among other things. He has also translated Tamil poetry into Finnish.
Originally, Hämeenniemi was supposed to play with an Indian percussionist, but due to the corona pandemic, a guitarist played in the band Kalle Kaliman in addition to the drummer Mika Kallio.
I don’t know where we left off, but Kallio’s multi-layered, melodic, rich drumming gave a great interpretation to both Indian and classical music influences in Hämeenniemi’s music. Kalima’s guitar and Hämeenniemi’s piano enriched the music in style.
The trio’s playing was not so much based on traditional groove: It seemed to create colorful clouds of tone and rhythm over which the listener could float.
Groove was instead a basic element in the music of the band Raoul Björkenheim, which ended the concert. Björkenheim’s jazz is like riding a bike by the sea: A huge joy of moving forward and freedom. Björkenheim’s jazz may be influenced by Balkan music or tango, but it is based on primitive rock kicking down its stomach.
It’s no wonder when the drum group was a drummer Tatu Rönkkö and bassist Antti Lötjönen.
The band performed a surreal series Always but Never, which Björkenheim said he composed April jazz for a concert at the Emma Museum of Modern Art in Espoo. The trumpet played sparkling Tomi Nikku, saxophone and flute of the old master Junnu Aaltonen, whose solos always have a touch of preacher spirituality.
Concert ended brightly with Björkenheim’s anthem Forever free. It gave hope that “the world will not go completely behind bars,” as Björkenheim said.
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