Friday, December 8, 2017

Eero Koivistoinen Quartet - Illusion (SVART RECORDS 2017)

Illusion is the second recording of Eero Koivistoinen Quartet for Svart Records after the quartet’s debut Hati Hati. The ensemble has worked together for five years, performing at festivals and clubs in Finland and the USA.

Playing together for 5 years has made the ensemble tight and the interplay is happening. All members of the quartet are recording artists and playing busy in many other combinations as well. Drummer Jussi Lehtonen is making his Svart Records debut at the same time with his Quintet recording Move On. Pianist Alexi Tuomarila released recently his second trio album Kingdom on Edition Records. Bass player Jori Huhtala just finished recording with his new trio Jori Huhtala 3.

The title tune Illusion is a new composition in a lyrical atmosphere. Big 5 is named after 5 African game animals, the time signature is also 5/4. Eero is playing soprano sax. What animal is this? Maybe a leopard. Catalonia is a melody from a suite El Viejo Almacen for a big band. First in rubato and then modal vamping in 6/4

Straight Up is one of the most popular tunes that Eero ever wrote. There is also a big band version of it on Arctic Blues / Umo Jazz Orchestra / Svart album. Is Blue In Green composed by Miles Davis or Bill Evans? My vote is Evans. This is a soprano sax & piano duet from an earlier Hati Hati session. Hallanvaara’s melodic motives can be found in a song Harmaaparta, Hallanvaara. It is based on a poem by famous Hannu Salama. The composition has a dark and free feeling starting with the famous big gong of the studio.

This recording session was the last one made in the famous M1 Studio of YLE (Finnish Broadcasting Company). The title Goodbye M1 is dedicated to the studio where I myself and so many others have had a number sessions and memorable moments during the 35 years that this sidewise largest studio in Finland was still active.

There is a palpable sense of honesty, thought, experience and commitment that is apparent from the first note.
Dave Liebman

Eero Koivistoinen has been one of the most constantly creative saxophonists, composers, and band leaders I’ve known through the years.. He is always developing and documenting music that is full of his beautiful honest expression… I’m a big fan…
Joe Lovano

Eero Koivistoinen is truly a legend in Finnish jazz or as the current terminology would have it,
a genuine ‘local hero’. He really deserves much greater recognition across Europe…
Stuart Nicholson

Illusion 6.04
Big Five 5.02
Catalonia 7.32
Straight Up 5.31
Blue In Green 3.51
Hallanvaara 5.48
Goodbye M1 6.09

Eero Koivistoinen tenor and soprano sax
Alexi Tuomarila piano
Jori Huhtala bass
Jussi Lehtonen drums