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JUPU GROUP

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Finland


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Jupu Group biography
JUPU GROUP was a somewhat typical finnish prog band, as most bands in Finland (in the 70's) played some form of jazz-rock/fusion. The band was based around the violinist Juhani "Jupu" Poutanen (hence the name Jupu Group). The music in their only album "Ahmoo" is much in the vein of WEATHER REPORT and RETURN TO FOREVER, but no plagiarism here, and the group managed to have a sound of their own for the most part.

By the time "Ahmoo" was released, the band had already disbanded as Juhani had moved to Rovaniemi to continue his studies. It's worth a spin, if you like the bands mentioned earlier, but finding "Ahmoo" might be a difficult task, as I believe it was never released on cd.

: : : Toni (Jimbo), FINLAND : : :

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JUPU GROUP discography


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JUPU GROUP top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.38 | 17 ratings
Ahmoo
1975

JUPU GROUP Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.95 | 2 ratings
Jazz-Liisa 5
2016

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JUPU GROUP Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Jazz-Liisa 5 by JUPU GROUP album cover Live, 2016
3.95 | 2 ratings

BUY
Jazz-Liisa 5
Jupu Group Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars What a pleasant surprise this one was, I mean this one is a keeper. This was just released back in 2016 but it's an archival release of music played live in studio on October 2nd 1974 and broadcast live on channel 2 in Finland. Their only release up to this was a studio album in 1975 also played live in studio but with five members. This is the year before with six members and that sixth guy plays soprano sax and flute and composed "Cybele" the rest of the songs on here were composed by the violinist the leader of the band. I should mention there is another edition of this release with a different album cover and it includes live music from 1977 and every opinion I've heard about that one says it's inferior to the 1974 music so I'm glad I have the edition I do.

Part of the appeal for me is that I'm just not big on violin led music. There are always exceptions of course and this is one of them. These guys by the way sound like no one else. I thought briefly of MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA on the closer at one point but hey not a bad band to be compared to right? The opener had me dancing around the house the first time I heard it. That violin is addictive and it's catchy. A lively sound. "Ahmoo" is slow moving to start with bass, violin and flute. Piano only after 2 minutes as we get a calm and it's beautiful. Violin and flute are back after 3 minutes and some picked guitar in this Avant section. Really cool. Drums roll in before 5 minutes then another calm and it's dark with sparse sounds. Blows me away that this was all played live. Organ takes the spotlight before 9 minutes.

"Ennystmaton" is one of my favourites. It hits the ground running with violin over top leading the way. I love when it slows down just before a minute. Intense! The electric piano starts to solo as the violin steps aside and that electric piano sounds great! Violin is back and man this is good. A calm with bass, shuffling drums and violin. Then the violin starts to go "off" after 5 minutes, sax too. Suspense! The violin is more playful late. "Cybele" is the longest track at over 11 minutes and we get sax and atmosphere to start as birds chirp. Just drifting away here with that inventive and melancholic sax for 3 1/2 minutes then the double bass replaces it. Cymbals join in then electric piano and flute. It's picking up. Picked guitar and violin as the flute steps aside. Violin leaves before 8 minutes as the electric piano leads the way with bass and drums. Flute and violin are back before 10 minutes.

The closer might be my favourite. "Lokki"is about the electric piano and sax mostly but it's that fuzzed out bass that had me exclaiming "What!" when I first heard it. Love these guys! Violin after 1 1/2 minutes and yes this sounds amazing. This is the MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTRA moment. Soprano sax leads before 5 minutes until the violin replaces it after 6 1/2 minutes. Well you can probably gather that I highly recommend this 1974 release. A must for adventerous Jazz fans.

 Ahmoo by JUPU GROUP album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.38 | 17 ratings

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Ahmoo
Jupu Group Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Ahmoo (the word means nothing, I think) is the sole album by a Finnish fusion sextet, recorded in August/September 1975. It hasn't yet appeared on CD, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Rocket Records to do the job anyday.

The first two tracks are much funkier than I expected, giving the lead role to Janne Louhivuori's electric guitar. 'The Seeker' is written by drummer Upi Sorvali and 'Ennystymätön' - another nonsense word! - , with its groove reminiscent of Stevie Wonder's 'Superstition', by violinist Juhani Poutanen. The 10- minute title track is quite different: a serene and a bit aimlessly wandering arty-farty focusing on piano and percussion. The A side is a disappointment for me as I expected airy & melodic fusion in the style of Jean Luc Ponty (foir the presence of violin). Technically this group is excellent, however.

'Moment' (by Poutanen) finally features the awesome violin virtuosity. Especially this 8-minute highlight track is on the level of the American fusion of the time (Weather Report, Return To Forever...).The bassist Ilkka Hanski has composed 'Two for Eeva', which starts rather boringly with the bass taking the solistic role. Usually bass solos in jazz always bore me, by the way. Little by little the track grows to be more interesting, including various phases. I like the lively piano in it. The closing track 'Drops of Rain' (by keyboard player Jukka Linkola) begins quietly in a meditative manner, and it also remains very delicate and impressionistic, evoking images of soft summer rain.

Even though I was mildly disappointed at first, due to my own expectations, I believe this unique album is a grower, definitely it's full of original and fine musicianship.

 Ahmoo by JUPU GROUP album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.38 | 17 ratings

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Ahmoo
Jupu Group Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by snobb
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Rare the only album from Finnish band "Jupu Group" . Recorded very in atmosphere of it's time (mid 70-s) , it demonstrates better than average jazz-rock fusion in the key of Return To Forever. Main difference is all music on this album is strongly based around electric violin sound. But if you can imagine Return To Forever combination with Jean Luc Ponty, or early Michal Urbaniak, you will understand , what this music is about.

Very competent in playing technique, the only album's problem is luck of compositional originality. You will hardly recognize the band's sound, but quite easy could mix it with one of great jazz fusion names of that time. What in fact is very big complement - unknown musicians' debut album is musically and technically strong enough to sound as music, played and recorded by greatest genre's musicians of the moment.

It's nice to note, that not only violin, but guitar and bass lines are very competent, and drumming is on the good level too. It's quite difficult to recommend this album, mostly because it is almost collectors rarity. If you find it by chance, and you like jazz-fusion from mid-70-s , than take it. Nothing too much outstanding, but really very good evidence of genre's golden age. But I don't think it worth to search it as special target .

My rating for this album is 3,5.

 Ahmoo by JUPU GROUP album cover Studio Album, 1975
3.38 | 17 ratings

BUY
Ahmoo
Jupu Group Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Progbear
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Finnish fusion group, based around the violin playing of Juhani Poutanen. In spite of the heavy use of violin, the style reminds me less of Mahavishnu or Jean-Luc Ponty than it does Return to Forever or Weather Report. Very American sounding.

High point of the album is probably "Two for Eeva", which contains a mesmerizing, sawing violin hook throughout. Low point is definitely the title track, the bulk of which is made up of a simply interminable drum solo.

Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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