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Jupu Group

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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Jupu Group Umpeen kasvoivat polut album cover
4.35 | 17 ratings | 2 reviews | 24% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 2022

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Kapriisi (3:44)
2. Istut yksin (5:16)
3. Umpeen kasvoivat polut (4:54)
4. Enkeli (3:44)
5. Giba (6:41)
6. Kääntäisikö hän selkänsä (3:18)
7. Pihapuu (4:32)
8. Täyttymys (4:56)

Total Time 37:05

Line-up / Musicians

- Jupu Poutanen / compositions, artistic production
- Meerika Ahlqvist / vocals
- Lotta Ahlbeck / electric violin, backing vocals
- Otto Porkkala / guitar
- Mikko Patama / keyboards
- Heikki Saarenkunnas / bass
- Oskari Niemi / drums, percussion

Releases information

Label: Svart Records
Format: Vinyl, CD, Digital
May 27, 2022

Thanks to mbzr48 for the addition
and to Matti for the last updates
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Buy JUPU GROUP Umpeen kasvoivat polut Music

JUPU GROUP Umpeen kasvoivat polut ratings distribution

(17 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(24%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(53%)
Good, but non-essential (24%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

JUPU GROUP Umpeen kasvoivat polut reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Matti
5 stars A high time to give the first review for this excellent album released nearly a year ago. JUPU GROUP was a Finnish instrumental fusion band in the mid-70's, led by violinist and composer Juhani "Jupu" Poutanen. They released their sole album Ahmoo in 1975 and practically disappeared from the business, the album later gradually becoming a minor fusion classic of the era. Surprisingly enough, Poutanen has composed new pieces and gathered a new six-piece line-up of young musicians: here is the result. Poutanen himself doesn't play on it, but the electric violin of Lotta Ahlbeck is central in the sound.

Shortish, 37-minute album has eight tracks. This time there are also songs with lyrics in Finnish. Some of them are originally poems of respected poets such as Helena Anhava and Helvi Juvonen, and the vocalist Meerika Ahlqvist has written a few lyrics herself. The occurring melancholic themes such as loneliness, suffering of animals and death gives the whole a beautiful coherence on the lyrical level, but in this review I'm going to concentrate on music. First, Meerika's bright vocals are very enjoyable, especially on the more delicate, introspective moments.

The opening piece 'Kapriisi' is a powerful and dynamic prog-fusion instrumental full of vibrant joy of playing. The violin easily brings acts like Kansas or Mahavishnu Orchestra in mind. 'Istut yksin' (= You sit alone) starts delicately in a slow tempo but adds tight prog fuel in midway, highlighting Otto Porkkala's intensive electric guitar work.

The album's title track (= "The paths were covered with growth", to give a very rough translation) is truly lovely in its jazzy sensualism. 'Enkeli' (= Angel) is another energetic instrumental. If Kansas were a bit jazzier they might have done something similar -- and this is definitely not to say Jupu Group doesn't have a sound of their own. The third instrumental track 'Giba' has interesting counterpoints and an eclectic rhythmic complexity. Mikko Patama on piano gets into spotlight on the jazziest moments, while elsewhere the entire band has a marvelous prog groove reminiscent of both Frank Zappa and early 70's Wigwam. The album's excellently produced soundscape is best described as timeless, with its retro nuances. Piano is the primary keyboard but there are some Hammond also.

'Kääntäisikö hän selkänsä' (= Would he turn his back?) has a beautifully delicate intro starring just vocals and piano, and grows into tight 70's-like prog. 'Pihapuu' (= Yard tree) flows instrumentally for its first half and would be a great piece as an all-instrumental, but the sparse sensual vocals lift it to a higher level. The final track 'Täyttymys' (= Fulfillment) is yet another winner combining prog complexity, flexible jazziness and lyrically expressive vocals.

The elegant little dose of cultivated RIO/Avant-ish edginess in the compositions makes sure that this album is rewarding to a demanding prog listener, not only to those with fondness on sensual and lyrical side (btw, hopefully you non-Finnish listeners are not bothered by the language barrier). I am happily charmed, and give my warmest recommendation with a full rating.

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A Finnish jazz-folk-rock band that first burst upon the music scene back in the mid-1970s has re-appeared, with founder and composer Jupu Poutanen (formerly the band's violinist) re-invigorated by a group of young enthusiasts. With this album receiving some acclaim I took it upon myself to review it--and I'm very glad I did.

1. "Kapriisi" (3:44) an instrumental that opens with a definite jazz-rock fusion sound and construct with lots of harmonic tension and interesting Frank Zappa/Mahavishnu Orchestra/Jean-Luc Ponty-like jazz noodling woven together into a rock format. The rock orientation becomes increasingly evident with the electric guitar-solo-led rock motif played out in the second half of the second minute into the third minute and again with the wild wah-violin solo in the second half of the third minute (which is the song's highlight for me). My third top three song for the album. (8.875/10)

2. "Istut yksin" (5:16) opens with a spacious, atmospheric blues soundscape that reminds me of the British electro-pop band Mono from the 1990s (Formica Blues). Meerika Ahlquist's lilting vocal does little to dissuade me of the dramatic blues mood orientation. But then at 2:35 the band ramps up into a full-on 1960s blues rock vamp. More vocals, a little more dynamic, and some solos--first from Hammond organ, then electric guitar, It all sounds so 1969: Blind Faith, Band of Gypsys, Spirit, etc. (8.6667/10)

3. "Umpeen kasvoivat polut" (4:54) opens like a 1960s specialty blues-rock song with drums and bass establishing the solid flow as first "distant" electric guitar flies around his fretboard, then Fender Rhodes chords and multiple tracks of Meerika's voice gently sing in soft tones. Guitar, violin, and keys give the instrumental section a thick, mutually- supportive weave before backing down for individual soli: mostly pitch-wavering electric keyboard and electric violin. Then we return to the main motif within which Meerika finishes her singing. (8.875/10)

4. "Enkeli" (3:44) a jazz-rock instrumental propelled by a driving rhythm section and both Hammond and piano and guitar moving through the opening with some fire, it is no surprise that a bridge takes us into an extended passage in which the individual instrumentalists unleash some fiery Mahavishnu-like soli. Nice performances if nothing very ground-breaking. (8.75/10)

5. "Giba" (6:41) piano, jazz guitar, and violin open this in a semi-classical, semi-jazz style reminding me a lot of Django- Stephane Grappelli before the piano is given room to solo for a bit. Full jazz band joins in from time to time, bringing on a much more rock and then jazz-rock/prog sound and style until 2:30 when the rhythm section takes a left turn into a more Latin dance-like pattern. The bass and guitar are really moving beneath the very avant-jazz piano solo. At 3:37 the doubled-up/delay/echoed electric violin takes over the lead. Full-band jazz Mahavishnu coda in the fifth minute before descending briefly into screaming Mahavishnu burst before music drops off leaving only chunky bass and raunchy lead guitar to blues-rock it out. Rest of band joins in and eventually brings it back to the angular lines of Mahavishnu land for the finale. Interesting song of complex structure thus demanding a lot of the instrumentalists-- which, I must say, they pulled off admirably. (8.75/10)

6. "K''nt'isik' h'n selk'ns'" (3:18) a bit corny, a bit classical, a bit 1960s psychedelia, recorded so purely, like a Folk Rock album, with a very pleasant vocal from Meerika and a little Django Reinhardt-like guitar play from Otto Porkkala. Nice. (8.875/10)

7. "Pihapuu" (4:32) nice, gentle pastoral jazz folk with prominent walking bass and, soft drum play, and violin in the lead up front. I do like the clean, unadulterated recording of the tracks: it makes it feel so present, so in your own living room. At the two-minute mark everything stops so piano and Meerika can have nice little duet for a minute or so. Violin and electric guitar duet leads to carry the pastoral melody when the rest of the band returns (after Meerika's finished singing). Nice tune. My favorite on the album. (9.25/10)

8. "T'yttymys" (4:56) the psychedelic sound of the opening--with electric (dobro?) guitar and Hammond--is reminiscent of Swedish atmospheric masters, LANDBERK from the 1990s--as well as Graham Sutton's first BARK PSYCHOSIS album. At the 0:59 mark the full band enters with a nice little 1960s psych-folk soundscape. As Meerika enters with her voice I am reminded of Greek band CICCADA as well as Finnish countrymates KOSMOS. The composition is fairly simple but the performances are all beautifully nuanced and pristinely clear. Interesting final 45 seconds when the music turns kind of circus-like! Another top three song for me. (9/10)

Total Time 37:05

A refreshingly clean and clear recording and presentation of some impressively intricate compositions performed dexterously and confidently by some fine musicians. I look forward to hearing more from this young band in the near future.

A-/4.5 stars; a near masterpiece of progressive rock music informed by the traditions of Euro-jazz, Mahavishnu-style fusion, Finnish folk music, and 1960s blues rock.

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