As a composer, Fredriksson has listened to his “quiet and shy” side, like a singer-songwriter.
Jazz / albums
Linda Fredriksson: Juniper. We Jazz Records. ★★★★★
Saxophonist Linda Fredriksson has been one of the key soloists of his exceptional number one instrument in Finland for so long that he has been able to wait and also hope for the first album released under his own name.
But what kind of music could he do alone and just for the band he was assembling for himself? Would the first album of an experienced band musician and baritone saxophonist contain something fresh and new, even different from everything before?
Or would he choose the most obvious option anyway and continue in roughly the same style as the phenomenal Mopo Trio, which has been squeezing jazz with its flashy “punk attitude” for a decade now? Or could he even avoid it, not to mention the comparison?
Three musicians However, after four albums, Mopo is the one to which Linda Fredriksson (b. 1985) is first associated as a baritone saxophonist and improvising soloist, occasionally also as a composer. And on top of all that, he’s been Mopo’s public bow from the start, albeit involuntarily.
It may be that in designing his first album, he has considered, among other things, these condensed stylistic expectations and sticking stamps. Or perhaps even deeper into who or who he is as a musician and music maker, as a human being.
And very likely he is, for the end of October to be released Juniper no Reminiscent of just about any Moped, and yes no other longer-term band of which Fredriksson has been recording for the past ten years.
Now, nowhere does the Ricky-Tick Big Band, not The Northern Governors, not Njet Njet 9 flash in my mind.
Compared to all of these Juniper – both the record and the band of the same name – is something else, something new. Of course, still instrumental music as well as rhythm music that is jazz or at least recognizable as jazz-like. But on first hearing, more subdued, more sensitive and controlled, more lingering and less polite.
One could imaginethat by early choosing another style, Fredriksson would be an old-school confessional singer-songwriter intertwined with the private and the public. And that’s exactly how he opens his starting point in the album’s release. He has composed most of it Juniperin of songs on his ancient rummy acoustic guitar, often at the same time singing and listening to the “quiet and shy” side of his personality.
Perhaps Juniperin almost entirely pervasive nonverbal and in some places very private singing explains just this. Besides, it seems that Fredriksson has not thought of himself now as a saxophonist at all, and especially as a soloist. As one of the members of his Juniper Quartet, he is above all a composer and an imaginary storyteller who plays just as much as the current song requires.
Less is often more, and especially as a mediator of emotions.
Same maxim followed by other junipers, a keyboardist who participated in arranging the songs in the studio Tuomo Prättälä, double bass players Mikael Saastamoinen and a drummer Olavi Louhivuori, the latter two Fredriksson colleagues from the Superposition.
The first rumors of sensitization and reduced insanity are still deceptive.
Fredriksson, a pair of producers playing synthesizers Minna Koiviston and a mixer Joonas Saikkonen the acoustic-selective sound image is multi-level, complex and very detailed. At the same time, this sophisticated sound design fades that For Juniper the finished recordings have been made over the past couple of years in several studios, homes, study rooms, and cottages, a bit like collecting diary entries.
And you can read even more between the lines – maybe as a private key song opening the whole album Neon Light [and the sky was trans], where the saxophonist finds his own voice after a careful and grueling feeling, like another way of breathing.
Such a transformation is a privilege to witness, and now still the size of the record from start to finish.
Critic’s Choices: From the State of Nature to the Turkish Murder Mystery
Progerock, Ambient / Albums
Iro Haarla Electric Ensemble: What Will We Leave Behind – Images from Planet Earth. Svart Records. ★★★★
Synthesizers, samplers and electric guitars are so everyday that they don’t need to be followed by exclamation marks. But now the temptation is great for the jazz pianist and composer Iro Haarla is known for a completely different kind of sound: acoustic and organic, even sensitizing. And at least not about progerock and electroambient, as these songs from the first album of the Iro Haarla Electric Ensemble could be described as lacking better. Electronic quintet – on guitar Jukka Orma – fortunately, for the most part, the parallel world it has created sounds the same and is framed by the same even more pressing questions: what about nature, what kind of world do we leave?
Jazz, Pop / Albums
Elena Mîndru: Hope. Eclipse. ★★★
Oulu the new CEO of the music festival, who has lived in Finland for a decade Elena Mîndru specializes in jazz as a singer and songwriter, for which he holds a Nordic master ‘s degree. Mîndru’s repertoire has already been on previous albums for the most part either own or at least new – and in the fourth Hopella he expands the musical circles a bit again. The English texts are more personal and assertive, the adaptations more popping up than before, even more “experimental”. The piano trio composed of Finnish musicians is complemented by a second strong soloist voice by a Polish violinist Adam Bałdych.
Harp / Albums
Brandee Younger: Somewhere Different. Impulse! ★★★
Concert harp is a rare instrument in jazz and even rarer as a soloist lead voice. Indeed, its history depends on only two exemplary and different American characters: Dorothy Ashbyn and Alice Coltranen. Forty Brandee Younger walks in part in their footsteps and is likely to leave its mark at least as a superior instrumentalist not retained by genres. With his fifth album, Younger has fortunately reduced the options to two. There is more pop-tinted material tinted with hip hop and there is more traditional trio jazz: not very special either, but making better use of the harpist’s abilities.
Jazz / Albums
Espoo Big Band: Blood Red. Galileo. ★★★★★
Equal years Espoo Big Band has occasionally increased its repertoire with commissioned works, including composers Pekka Pohjola, Jarmo Saari and Marzi Nyman, the current conductor of the orchestra. Percussionist Mikko Hassisen composed and arranged Blood Red is the latest order – a multi-level style sample of a precise craftsman and one of the best in Hassinen’s own production. The background of the great work reflects the Turkish Orhan Pamukin a historical murder mystery My name is red, but the knowledge of this inspirer is just an extra deepening experience. The most important of the soloists is Verneri Pohjola, again as a human voice narrator condensing emotions.