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Tasavallan Presidentti

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Tasavallan Presidentti Lambertland album cover
4.18 | 110 ratings | 9 reviews | 35% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1972

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Lounge (8:25)
2. Lambertland (6:59)
3. Celebration of the Saved Nine (3:35)
4. The Bargain (7:17)
5. Dance (5:57)
6. Last Quarters (8:14)

Total Time 40:27

Bonus tracks on 2010 & 2013 reissues:
7. Selvä Näkijä (1972 single) (4:18)
8. Sisältäni Portin Löysin (1972 single) (4:57)

Line-up / Musicians

- Eero Raittinen / vocals
- Jukka Tolonen / guitars, composer
- Pekka Pöyry / saxophones, flute, composer (3)
- Måns Groundstroem / bass
- Vesa Aaltonen / drums

Releases information

Artwork: Mats Huldén

LP Love Records ‎- LRLP-60 (1972, Finland)
2xLP Svart Records ‎- SVR250 (2013, Finland) Bonus 7" with 2 bonus tracks

CD Love Records - LRCD 60 (1990, Finland) Remastered by Pauli Saastamoinen
CD Love Records - LRCD 60 (2010, Finland) Remastered by Pauli Saastamoinen with 2 bonus tracks

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to projeKct for the last updates
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TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI Lambertland ratings distribution

(110 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(35%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(46%)
Good, but non-essential (14%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (1%)


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Steve Hegede
5 stars "Lambertland" is an early 70's album with English vocals, and a jazz-rock influence. The music is quite strong, and seems inspired by Frank ZAPPA's "King Kong" and "Third"-era SOFT MACHINE. Unfortunately, although the musicians are all top-notch, they chose a below-average singer for the job. The singer tends to sound quite harsh, and sometimes sings out-of-tune. You also tend to wish that they he had sung the album in Finnish, rather than English, because of his accent. Overall, you can expect some great music mixed with some questionable vocals.
Review by Dick Heath
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.

Review by Sean Trane
4 stars Well, Lamberland is TP's third album, even if you'll probably never hear their second, which only received a local distribution and has never been reissued legitimately on CD. By the time of this album, the group's line-up had noticeably changed with singer Robson's replacement with a more local Eero Raittinen and wind-player Aaltonen's replacement with Pekka Poyry. As you can guess, the change of voice might have changed TP's general soundscape, but the winds also changed a bit their musical direction. Unlike on their debut album, you'd be hard-pressed to find TP being derivative of X or Y or pastiching Z. Indeed, with LL, TP seems to be closer to jazz-rock with a Canterbury twist, which is a direct consequence of Tolonen's taking over the lion's share of the compositions, and leaving the lyrics to outsider Swede Mats Hulden. Another twist that since Robson's departure and Groundstroem's increased bass presence, keyboards have seen their importance diminished, but they're still around.

Right from the first notes of the opening Lounge, it's quite obvious that TP has stepped well forward in their progression and Raittinen's vocals leave you no hope to return to the Robson days. In some ways, while rather different-sounding, TP's formula is still more or less the same, just majorly improved (partly based on Groundstroem's much improved and often brilliant bass playing) and increasingly personal; their brilliant jazz-rock taking a slight but original personality twist, but the classical moods are still around as well, as the early part of title track will show. In LL (the track), Raittinen's personal style of vocals are an acquired taste, and Poyry's sax will probably surprise a few progheads, but it's certainly nothing insurmountable. The sole Poyry-penned instrumental track Celebration is probably the hardest track of the album, with some funky rhythm and tricky time sigs.

Over the flipside, Bargain emerges from the naught, slowly rising to a maddening repetitive bass riff and Raittinen's manic vocals, taking the band's soundscape to a very unique/personal level. The instrumental Dance also features tricky time sigs and some extremely brilliant interplay at breakneck speed. The closing Last Quarters is a mid-tempo track that may just be the album's weaker track (being too wordy), but still remains amazingly good.

Since I've never heard their second album, it's rather difficult to say whether the change of musical horizon was abrupt, but the least we can say is that TP is a different beast by now from their debut album, but their shift towards JR/F was more or less coincidental to their rival Wigwam (well WW was a bit earlier on that ball), who had also taken the same JR/F turn with Pohjola and Gustafsson's increased shared of the songwriting at the cost of singer Jim Pembroke's with late 71's Fairyport. But unlike Wigwam's almost schizophrenic musical personality, TP's was a lot more focused and cohesive. Surely my fave of three of four albums I've heard.

Review by Jimbo
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars After TP's second album (not the one with Pekka Streng), it became clear that their vocalist Frank Robson would not continue as the leading vocalist. This eventually lead to the fact, that Eero Raittinen joined the band. While I still don't quite understand why - his voice is considerably more suitable for a blues outfit - it did help this album to become a totally unique item. His voice is generally seen as the worst part of this album, but nowadays it's pretty much impossible for me to imagine anyone else singing here. As for the music, well, it's mostly brilliant. Jukka Tolonen was at the top of his game in 1971-1973, his inspired guitar playing is nothing short of spectacular. It's futile and pointless trying to compare Tasavallan Presidentti to anyone, but it seems I'm doing it anyway. Imagine Soft Machine on stage with the guys from Colosseum joining in, and add a rough, bluesy vocalist singing with a bizarre accent to the mix, and you'll have a slight idea of what this sounds like. Pekka Pöyry on flute & sax gives his own special touch to the album - his flute playing is often soft and gentle, but the man is no slouch with the saxophone either. Don't get me wrong though, Lambertland is ultimately a pretty raw and wild album - you won't find anything similar to the "slicker" and slightly over-produced approach of Return To Forever and Weather Report. All in all, when it comes to "primitive" jazz-rock, it rarely gets any better than this. Lambertland is not a perfect album by any means, but it's more than worthy of the price tag. 4,5 stars

Just a quick note to say that TP's other albums are very dramatically different to this effort - not as progressive, not as good.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This is the most appreciated album by this band, and it truly is a record worth of listening. I personally liked FRANK ROBSON's singing voice more than EERO RAITTINEN's who sings here, but this line-up plays bit different kind of music than the previous one, so I think his style fits better to this jazzy style. All of the tracks are fine, having both structured composed parts and a space for jamming. There are also two instrumental tracks, though the "Celebration of The Saved Nine" makes a one piece of music with the delicate title tune. This can be sincerely recommended to all fans of a jazzy rock music, and "Lambertland" should fulfill all the requirements to acquire the status of a classic album internationally. Nearly essential pancake for your turntable!
Review by Warthur
3 stars After the psychedelia of their previous albums, Tasavallan Presidentti underwent a similar evolution to that undergone by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, moving into jazz fusion by the time this album came out. Of course, there are differences; for starters, Zappa's quirky sense of humour and ready command of a million different styles of musical composition clearly aren't present here. But at the same time, I think the album does succeed in breaking some new ground; in sections, it sounds almost like the sort of territory that Henry Cow or Discipline/Matthew Parmenter would explore in their jazzier moments in years to come. Not a full-blown classic, but still a solid album more than worth a listen - though you may find a few Zappa-isms which carried more weight when Zappa himself deployed them.
Review by Mellotron Storm
4 stars 4.5 stars. Very close to being a five star album in my opinion.This Finnish band are simply incredible instrumentally and while some have issues with the vocals I personally don't.This is their third album released in 1972. As the liner notes state,they were at this point (after 2 albums) a household name in Finland.There's a new vocalist and reedsman for this one.The original bass player for WIGWAM not only wrote the lyrics for this album but he did the cover art. And no he doesn't play bass here as original bass player Mans Groundstoem continues to do that.The other two original members are the great Jukka Tolonen on guitar and drummer Vesa Aaltonen. In May of 1972 this band became the first Finnish band to headline a tour in the UK. Some interesting words in the liner notes from Ian MacDonald about this band as well. He stated this in September of 1973. "As with most of the recordings of the Eurorock- movement, "Lambertland" was inexpertly recorded, but the essential qualities of the music break through and show the band to be technically proficient beyond the standards of even Danish groups or France's GONG and MAGMA". I think I would call some of those things he said here controversial at the least.

"Lounge" sounds so good to start out then it settles in then kicks back quickly before we get vocals, flute and a full sound.The liner notes show no keyboards were involved but man it sure sounds like mellotron here but maybe it's the flute.These guys really sound amazing. Sax and guitar trade off before 4 minutes as we get this long instrumental break that ends before 7 1/2 minutes when the vocals return. "Lambertland" opens with gentle guitar and atmosphere.The vocals a minute in are almost spoken.They stop as percussion and sounds that echo take over. It starts to build after 3 1/2 minutes.Vocals and a fuller sound come in before 5 minutes. It blends into "Celebration Of The Saved Nine" where the intricate guitar and sax impress with their complexity. Some nice chunky bass too as the drums pound.

"The Bargain" has a beat with sax and guitar as the vocals come and go. Catchy stuff. An uplifting section arrives after 5 1/2 minutes but it's brief. "Dance" has a killer bass, drum and guitar intro. Flute joins in too.The guitar lights it up after 2 minutes right through until before 4 1/2 minutes. He's ripping it up again 5 1/2 minutes in. "Last Quarters" sounds amazing to start then the flute then vocals join in. A calm before 6 minutes then it picks back up with vocals a minute later.

An incredible album that will appeal to JRF fans.

Review by Matti
4 stars TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI's third album was recorded in April-May 1972. Each album saw one member being replaced; first the original saxophonist-flautist Juhani Aaltonen gave way to Pekka Pöyry, and this time the vocalist changed from British Frank Robson to Eero Raittinen, an established singer in the 60's/70's pop culture. The band's fame rose rapidly both in Finland and in England, where they toured twice. Lambertland is almost entirely composed by the guitar master Jukka Tolonen, lyrics are written by Mats Huldén (the original WIGWAM bassist). Gone is the patchwork-like nature of the previous albums, now the album is completely coherent - supposedly also conceptual, though I can't quite figure out the story - and shows the group stronger than ever with a unique personality.

The fast-tempo opener 'Lounge' is a heady cocktail of riffy and bluesy rock, improvisational jazz virtuosity, prog complexity and tight funk. Pöyry's alto sax is all over the place. For me, and many, the album's shiny highlight is the title track that starts slowly in a mystic, nocturnal way. Raittinen's powerful vocals sound truly fantastic on those looooong notes. The delicate instrumental moment that builds up from solitary hi-hat and soft guitar chords into more intense jazz-rock is amazing too. The track changes seamlessly into Pekka Pöyry's instrumental composition 'Celebration of the Saved Nine'.

'The Bargain' has a very reserved basic rhythm on top of which the semi-shamanistic, Jim Morrison reminding vocals and the light jazz doodling of the group make me think of THE DOORS of the 70's, songs such as 'L. A. Woman' and 'Riders on the Storm'. 'Dance', the other instrumental, is fine due to the flute and the occasional Medieval influences, though it has a bit too much of self-indulgent jazz- rock boasting by Tolonen. 'Last Quarters' features a charming bass line, a lot of flute, and some JETHRO TULL-ish nuances. Yeah, a nice track, even if I at first thought it to be directionless.

Without a doubt Lambertland is among the biggest prog classics of Finland, but it's not a 5-star masterpiece to me.

Review by friso
5 stars Tasavallan Presidentti from Finland impressed me with their charming prog-infused song-based bluesrock second record (1971). A year later the band would release 'Lambertland' with a different singer and quite frankly; a totally different type of band. This is pure eclectic prog. Take some early Zappa ('King Kong' was mentioned earlier), add some Soft Machine, Fairport Convention, some Jan Akkerman style guitar (of Focus) and most importantly some Sammy Davis Junior (yes that jazz singer who sang 'Mr. Bojangles'). The combination of folk & jazz-rock with the beautiful artwork and title 'Lamberland' creates a unique journey through the imagination. Light-hearted, charming and full of positive creative energy. The quirkiness of the melodies and the way the rhythms are gently pumping are quite unique. The band uses interesting harmonies and finds original folky melodies. Pekka Pöyry plays both saxes and flutes and is great in always finding a suitable place in the music. Jukka Tolonen, a guitarist of some fame in Finland, mostly excels at finding nice quirky jazz riffs. The vocals of Eero Raittinen have fueled some debate and on the opining song he does in fact sings way out of tune. Since I do like the tone of his voice and his different way of singing (more like vocal jazz) I can actually appreciate his performances quite a lot. The album has a few very strong moments and no weak spots and I really like the totality of it. The Svart label has released a stunning vinyl reprint. 'Lambertland' may have its shortcomings, but it does deliver that truly original one-of-a-kind early seventies progressive rock experience like all too few album do. It's the kind of album you'd like to see in the PA top 100.

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