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Pekka Pohjola

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Pekka Pohjola Urban Tango album cover
3.76 | 45 ratings | 3 reviews | 27% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1982

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Imppu's Tango (9:23)
2. New Impressionist (15:21)
3. Heavy Jazz (10:47)
4. Urban Caravan (11:47)

Total Time: 47:18

Bonus track on 1994 & 2010 reissues:
5. Silent Decade (4:13)

Line-up / Musicians

- Pekka Pohjola / bass, keyboards, arranger & co-producer

- Kassu Halonen / vocals (4)
- Esa Kaartamo / vocals (5)
- Peter Lerche / guitar, mandolin (solo 3)
- Timo Tapani Oksala / Roland synth guitar (solo 1)
- Jussi Liski / keyboards
- Leevi Leppänen / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Seppo Pietikäinen

LP Pohjola Records ‎- PELP 1 (1982, Finland)

CD Pohjola Records ‎- PELPCD 1 (1994, Finland) With a bonus track
CD Pohjola Records ‎- PELPCD1 (2010, Finland) Remastered by Pauli Saastamoinen w/ a bonus track

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy PEKKA POHJOLA Urban Tango Music

PEKKA POHJOLA Urban Tango ratings distribution

(45 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(27%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (25%)
Collectors/fans only (16%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

PEKKA POHJOLA Urban Tango reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Progbear
3 stars I maintain that Pekka Pohjola has never made a bad album, but this one is certainly one of the...shall we say, less essential PP albums.

For the first time, Pohjola is using synthesizers extensively (and exclusively) for orchestration. It's by no means the first appearance of a synthesizer on one of his albums (that would be KEESOJEN LEHTO), but it's the first time they would dominate the musical palette. In fact, the album features three synthesizer players (including Pohjola himself and guitar synthesist T. T. Oksala), making this by far the most electronic album he's produced.

The album starts off very strongly with "Imppu's Tango". In fact, "New Impressionist" is one of his artistic high points, a lengthy epic track with much to recommend it.

The big dent in the façade is "Urban Caravan". Not counting Sally Oldfield's wordless voice pictures on KEESOJEN LEHTO, this is the first appearance of vocals on a Pekka Pohjola tune. One Kassu Halonen fairly spoils the song with some highly inappropriate heavy-metal screaming. I can only wonder what anyone involved was thinking, letting that man in the recording studio!

The CD includes a second vocal track, "Silent Decade", but the vocals this time (by Esa Kaartamo), thankfully, are far more sympathetic. For all that this set a bad precedent, Pohjola seemed to learn from his mistake, and vocals never reappeared on a Pekka Pohjola album.

Listeners everywhere breathe a sigh of relief.

Review by Matti
4 stars In Finland, as in many other countries such as Italy, the 80's was a very anti-prog decade. Pekka Pohjola (formerly of Wigwam) was just about the only Finnish prog artist to continue releasing albums at a relatively steady pace during the eighties, without completely losing progressive approach. In 1980 Pekka Pohjola Group toured in the Scandinavia. After Ippe Kätkä had replaced Vesa Aaltonen on drums, the album Kätkävaaran Lohikäärme (1980) was made in a short time on improvisational ground. I'm not deeply fond of that four-track album, but the divorce- themed melancholic piece 'Inke and Me' is among the finest Pohjola compositions. The divorce however was followed by a difficult, alcohol-filled era in his life, but he made a return -- sober, and with his long hair cut short -- with this album, the first one on Pohjola's own record label.

Featuring new collaborators, guitarist Peter Lerche, keyboardist Jussi Liski and drummer Leevi Leppänen, the fairly synth oriented Urban Tango started a new chapter in Pohjola's music. Especially compared to the previous album, there is a melodic tightness unheard before, even though the pieces are again pretty long. 'Imppu's Tango' is an outgoing, playful fusion piece with a brass-like sharpness and nice changes in tempo. T. T. Oksala, who was soon to make a grade as a rock/pop producer, guests on Roland guitar synth. 'New Impressionist' lasts over 15 minutes, and admittedly it's not as progressive as a piece of that length would better be, but it has a fresh, sophisticated soundscape.

'Heavy Jazz' became a gig perennial. The title is appropriate as the rhythm is really heavy. In the halfway comes a lighter section focusing on Lerche's bright electric guitar before returning to the heaviness. The vocal numbers in Pohjola's entire solo output are extremely scarce. The nearly 12-minute 'Urban Caravan' features rather unsatisfactory vocals of Kassu Halonen (better known as a songwriter for several other artists), but the composition itself is quite progressive and dynamic after the slow-paced first movement. The rough, throaty vocals remind me at times of Mike Oldfield's voice in the song 'Five Miles Out'.

Much better song is the relatively peaceful 'Silent Decade' (4:13) which originally was the B side of 'Imppu's Tango' single and is featured as a bonus on the album's reissues. Esa Kaartamo is a very good vocalist, perhaps with a little resemblance to both Jukka Gustavson and Jim Pembroke of Wigwam, and the song has sincere emotion.

With a few more separate pieces of shorter average length this album could have been better, but I'll let the rare beauty of 'Silent Decade' push my 3½ stars upwards. Anyway, surprisingly solid, and still fresh sounding album for its time.

Latest members reviews

5 stars The opening Imppu's Tango have some serious peak with pekka playing some obscure hard bass play. It took me some time to be used to the tango part in the beginning, but now I love it. It evolves to become the best car music, you picture yourself just speeding through landscape and feel the high m ... (read more)

Report this review (#164913) | Posted by Skink_123 | Tuesday, March 25, 2008 | Review Permanlink

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