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Jukka Gustavson - Jukka Gustavson Organ Fusion Band: Between Fire And Ice CD (album) cover


Jukka Gustavson

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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2 stars Just a quick one for this legandary Finnish (ex-WIGWAM) musician, who has sadly gained only a small amount of reviews at the year's time. Between Fire and Ice is a groovy, blues-flavoured jazz album, and pretty free of more eclectically progressive and personal elements.

The key instrument is announced already in the low quality cover. Iloisesti Hammondilla! (Sorry, non-Finnish readers; that was a clichéd phrase which means "joyfully with Hammond"). Organ jazz as a subgenre of its own isn't among my favourites. I think Hammond as the lead instrument gets a bit boring on the long run. This 64-minute album includes three songs with English lyrics and five instrumentals. Those with vocals ('Walkin' & Talkin'', 'Between Fire and Ice' and 'I'm a Bluesman') are oriented to American blues/funk/soul. The latter two are slow-tempo blues songs, more enjoyable than the sociocritical first song, but they could be by any artist of that genre.

I find it hard to get excited by the album as it sounds quite similar all the time. The mood stays carefree and there's a jam-like spirit in the compositions. The quartet (Gutsi is accompanied by a rhythm section and woondwinds player Pentti Lahti) is competent, no doubt of that. The closing track is a bit closer to the colourful Fusion you hear in his best albums, but prog listeners are adviced to choose other albums. Most of all this is a good and safe offering of merry organ jazz, recommended to anyone who happens to like that. Three stars would be an accurate objective rating, but for a clearer contrast I give only two here.

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Posted Friday, August 8, 2014 | Review Permalink

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