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Tasavallan Presidentti - Lambertland CD (album) cover

LAMBERTLAND

Tasavallan Presidentti

 

Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.18 | 98 ratings

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Dick Heath
Special Collaborator
Jazz-Rock Specialist
5 stars Stuart Nicholson's excellent book "Jazz Rock: A History", has only a few faults, one of which is its too abbrieviated history and analysis of the European jazz rock scene. One or two clues to what has been omitted, will be found from listening to this record. Tasavallan Presidentti are one of those seemingly obscure bands who contributed to jazz rock's development. Even so, they were briefly popular in the UK because of "Lambertland".

Sonet distributed the vinyl version in the UK around 1973, with a sticker on the cover, stating "....Tasavallan Presidentti are a tidied up Traffic...". As selling aid, it told the potential buyer more about the band's earlier albums and much less about the music here. With "Lambertland" TP had developed well beyond the jazz-tempered, psychedelic rock of Traffic, and produced this minor classic of fusion. This is jazz fusion that evolved in the typical European way: rock musicians taking in jazz influences (cf. much of American jazz rock was jazz musicians taking on board rock rhythms and electrification). Let's examine one of my all time favourite jazz rock tunes, as a an example of this album .

'The Bargain' is a rock tune that within a few bars has become jazz. Fade up an urgent drum shuffle, quickly sax and wah wah guitar overlay the drums, provided by Jukka Tolonen and Pekka Pöyry respectively - both as solo musicians nowadays have reputations equal to Jan Akkermann - at least amongst those who know their albums. Then a beautiful interplay of guitar with sax, giving a call and response with the vocalist. The lyrics are well sung in English beit in the blue rock style of the period - a lesson learned from fellow Finnish musicians Wigwam; if you want to break the British and US market sing in English. Lines of verses initially sound disconnected - but listen well these are words about shoe-shine boys, bargains, street hustle. This upbeat tune lingers long in the memory and for me, simply has stood the test of time, as does all this album.

Dick Heath | 5/5 |

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