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Wednesday, January 14, 2015

CD Review: Verneri Pohjola - Bullhorn

Verneri Pohjola (tpt); Aki Rissanen (pno); Antti Lötjönen (bs); Teppo Mäkynen (dms) + Jussi Kannaste (ten); Ilmahri Pohjola (tmb); IIada Laine (cello).
(Review by Lance).
I hold my hand up and confess that Jazz and Finland - cool as the air may be 'up there' - have never quite been on my radar. I recall Zoe Gilby and Andy Champion raving about a Finnish trumpet player they'd encountered on one of their Scandinavian jaunts - the same Finn later played at Gateshead International Jazz Festival.
Is this the same guy, I wonder?
It must be! There can't be two great jazz trumpet players in Finland - it's like imagining two great footballers playing for Sunderland!
Pohjola has the broad-toned winsome approach of other Nordic hornmen but he can also explode with enough heat to transfer his mother country to somewhere just north of the equator. Blanchard springs to mind as do older trumpets like Clifford and Lee but these are but fleeting comparisions - Verneri is very much his own man with his own sound and a whole lot of ideas. The rhythm section lay down the cushion for the leaders emotive flights and the occasional augmentation of tenor, trombone and cello adds spice to a disc that's well worth checking out.
Released on Edition Records EDN 1056 0n February 9, 2015.
Lance.

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