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Uni Sono biography
UNI SONO was a Finnish fusion group formed in 1973 in Helsinski, Uusimaa. It was originally formed by Seppo "Paroni" PAAKKUNAINEN, Mike KOSKINEN, Olli AHVENLAHTI, Hasse WALLI, Make LIEVONEN and Reiska LAINE, all top musicians in jazz music as both solo and studio musicians in their own right. The line-up which recorded the groups' only album in 1975 also featured Nono SODERBERG, Markku LIEVONEN (also from MIDDLE-EARTH BAND) and by that time an already known figure in Finnish jazz rock as a bass player, PEKKA POHJOLA.

The group disbanded in 1975 when the main composer Seppo PAAKUNAINEN left for United States to further his musical education.

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3.88 | 6 ratings
Uni Sono

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4.00 | 1 ratings
Jazz-Liisa 1

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UNI SONO Reviews

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 Jazz-Liisa 1 by UNI SONO album cover Live, 2016
4.00 | 1 ratings

Jazz-Liisa 1
Uni Sono Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
4 stars A few years back the Finnish record company Svart Records started releasing the 70's gigs held in Helsinki's Liisankatu studios (hence the titles Pop-Liisa and Jazz-Liisa), organized and broadcast on radio by the Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE. By the way, many of the bands in the Pop-Liisa series happened to be progressive rock bands/artists, including Wigwam and Tasavallan Presidentti. Especially for the Finnish jazz scene the Liisankatu gigs were culturally significant, since there weren't yet any permanently functioning jazz clubs in Helsinki until 1977. Many of the line-ups represented in the series were short-lived, some of them even temporary, but often featuring the leading Finnish jazz musicians of the time. Speaking of Unisono Quartet's stellar line-up, one could perhaps think of Olli Ahvenlahti as Finland's Chick Corea and Paroni Paakkunainen as Finland's Ornette Coleman.

Listen here in ProgArchives as Uni Sono due to the way the name is written on the sole, eponymous album (1975) recorded by a slightly changed line-up, the jazz group Unisono started life already in 1970, touring in Poland as a sextet of Olli Ahvenlahti (keyboards), Seppo "Baron" Paakkunainen (saxophones and flute), bassist Make Lievonen, drummer Reino Laine, trumpetist Mike Koskinen and guitarist Hasse Walli. The two last mentioned made an exit during the extended tour. On September 26th 1973 the remaining quartet performed live in Liisankatu. The set features four pieces, all roughly 10 minutes long.

Ahvenlahti's composition 'Long Tandem' has a steady basic groove anchored on a repetitive piano riff, until a lively piano solo takes the lead from the saxophone. 'Specially For', also by Ahvenlahti, is a mellower and slower tune. The liner notes guess that the lyrical alto sax melody might have been ispired by Gato Barbieri's theme song for Last Tango in Paris. Very beautiful. 'Totuuden aarreaitta - Treasures of the Truth' (by Paakkunainen) is a bit harder to fully enjoy. Not that it would be hard-edged free jazz, it's just sort of minimalist in a way that the listener's attention may get lost during the dry, fragmentary soloing. Make Lievonen's 'Incarnation' has a nice, bass-centred groove, and the saxophone is being played in many different tones, some of them quite gritty. All in all, this is a fine, shortish jazz gig. The sonic quality is excellent.

If you get this album on CD, you'll get another gig on the Jazz-Liisa series, from November of the same year 1973. Taivaantemppeli is one of the short-lived line-ups who never recorded studio albums. Olli Ahvenlahti and bassist Make Lievonen are again present, and the latter is also responsible of each of the three long compositions. Matti Jakola is a less known name but his flute playing is impressive. Guitarist Pekka Rechardt was soon afterwards to join Wigwam. Percussion duties are shared by Upi Sorvali and Tapani Ikonen. This dynamic fusion gig very nicely fits together with Unisono's, and the differences in the combos (e.g. guitar instead of saxophone) only make the whole richer.

 Uni Sono by UNI SONO album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.88 | 6 ratings

Uni Sono
Uni Sono Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars As I'm afraid this will most likely remain being the only review, I'll do my best to expand the band information as well. Finnish jazz/fusion group UNISONO was founded in 1973, and this is their sole album. The album's line-up is different from the original sextet that made a tour in Poland in '73. The tour was so succesful that it lasted longer than the planned two weeks. At this point guitarist Hasse Walli and trumpetist Mike Koskinen returned to Finland and Unisono continued the tour as a quartet. Sometime later the original bassist Make Lievonen left the group because of his civil service time; Heikki Virtanen (from Tasavallan Presidentti) joined Unisono for their Jazz Jamboree gig in Prague.

The album was recorded in Stockholm's Marcus Music studio in May 1975. Founding members Seppo "Paroni" Paakkunainen (sax, flute), keyboardist Olli Ahvenlahti and drummer Reino Laine were joined by guitarist Nono Söderberg and bassist Pekka Pohjola. A stellar line-up in which each musician already had a respectable CV in Finnish jazz and/or rock scene.

Three of the five tracks are composed by Paakkunainen who also produced the album with Ahvenlahti. The opener 'TVL' written by drummer Laine is a relatively lively piece with a jam-like atmosphere in which sax, electric piano, bass and drums (guitar stays slightly more in the background) have their spotlight moments. On 'Chorea Urbana' saxophone is taking the lead until Pohjola plays a cool bass solo, followed by a meditative slow movement for bass and keys.

Olli Ahvenlahti composition 'Boulevard Blues' is romantically charming, hurriless and laid-back, his Chick Corea -influenced electric piano in the centre. 'Jedi & Rekku' is undoubtedly named after two dogs barking at the beginning. This is the longest track (11:26) and it meanders with natural ease. Like the album as a whole, it contains first class musicianship without a feeling of self-indulgent showing-off. The Finnish title of the closing track means 'Evening Star'. This roughly 10-minute piece has a nearly hypnotic feel as saxophone, electric guitar and electric piano do their converstation against bass & drum patterns.

This is a pretty enjoyable and harmonic fusion album focusing on the airy lightness and peaceful tempos. Do not expect a fiery approach of Mahavishnu Orchestra! Actually I would have liked to hear a bit more of flute and guitar as solo instruments. But anyway, warmly recommended for those who enjoy rather peaceful fusion. The CD edition might still be available.

Thanks to historian9 for the artist addition.

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