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THE GROUP

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Finland


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The Group biography
After Made In Sweden decided to call it quits in summer 1977, Pekka Pohjola was essentially left with two choices; either form a new band for himself or start a new career doing studio gigs. Eventually, Pohjola chose the former and with the help of Olli Ahvenlahti (keyboards), Seppo Tyni (guitars) and Vesa Aaltonen (drums), a new group was born - aptly named "The Group".

Pohjola and Ahvenlahti already knew each other quite well - after all, they were both hugely respected studio musicians in Finland and had played together in several studio sessions. Drummer Vesa Aaltonen (ex-Tasavallan Presidentti) was Pohjola's bandmate during their Made In Sweden days, so his place in the band was quite natural. Surprisingly enough, the newcomer Seppo Tyni (formerly of Elonkorjuu) would eventually become an essential part of Pohjola's solo albums, bringing his trademark guitar sound to most of Pohjola's 80's studio efforts.

Progressive rock/fusion music was hardly having its heyday in 1977 - the media had turned their back on prog, and most bands had either gone underground or disappeared completely. This didn't seem to bother the band at all though - instead, they intentionally aimed at filling the void in the media. They took influence from various Fusion supergroups such as Return To Forever and Weather Report. The Group's only album, released in 1978, is somewhat of an anomaly in Pohjola's discography, as it bears little resemblance to his other works. Pohjola's trademark sound is nowhere to be found and musically it possibly pays too much tribute to their "idols". However, this was indeed a group effort instead of one of Pohjola's solo offerings (Pohjola and Ahvenlahti were credited as the main composers), which might partially explain it.

In 1979, The Group went on a tour that consisted of several gigs in the Nordic countries, but at the same time they suffered from financial difficulties. Olli Ahvenlahti was forced to leave the band pretty soon after, due to work commitments. The rest of the group continued under the name of Pekka Pohjola Group.

See also:
- Pekka Pohjola



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Discography:
The Group, studio album (1978)

The Group official website

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THE GROUP discography


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

3.28 | 7 ratings
The Group
1978

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THE GROUP Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Group by GROUP, THE album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.28 | 7 ratings

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The Group
The Group Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

4 stars I have always perceived this album as another one by Pekka Pohjola, the legendary Finnish musician. The reality is that it is indeed a group effort by some of Finland's finest of that era. Sure, Pohjola contributes, but not in a dominant way.

The album is a somewhat lighter approach than what would have been expected. Not quite airy as in boring, but more like less dense in comparison. At times it reminds of Pat Metheny's works of the corresponding period, well if only as far as compositions are concerned. Still, it comes across as very European.

A rather relaxed and unforced play offers pleasant listening. Considering that at the time of it's release, international Jazz-Rock greats were getting tired, losing inspiration, The Group has made a good effort to keep things going and for that they deserve due recognition.

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 The Group by GROUP, THE album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.28 | 7 ratings

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The Group
The Group Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars The Group was an obscure finish progressive/jazz rock band from late '70s, but with established musicians in this field. The band released only one album in 1978 self titled and then gone into oblivion under this name, because the musicians involved here minus Olli Ahvenlahti will go to Pekka Pohjola Group. As I said some very solid and skilful musicians here like ex Wigwam, Made In Sweden - Pekka Pohjola who was at the time an already proeminet bass player both under his name or with those bands, drumer Vesa Aaltonen ex-Tasavallan Presidentti another great band from Finland from early 70, guitarist Seppo Tyni from prog/psych Elonkorjuu and keybordist Olli Ahvenlahti from Uni Sono and solo aswell, so in the end a super group. The music featured here, I can't say is groundbreaking but is pleasent, well made. The jazz elements are well combned with the progressive ones, it sounds like a cross between Return To Forever and solo work of Pohjola, even his tradmark elements are not so present here, this is a group efford indeed as the name of the band suggested. The shorter pieces are the most intresting here with maybe Annapurna the longest one, because Ripple marks has some good but in same time some boring moments aswell, the piece to much time going nowhere in musical terms. All in all a decent album, nothing over the top, but fans of the genre might take some spins. 3 stars, maybe in places 3.5.

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 The Group by GROUP, THE album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.28 | 7 ratings

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The Group
The Group Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

3 stars This is the only album by The Group, a Finnish jazz-rock/fusion quartet with established members. Bassist-composer Pekka Pohjola (formerly of WIGWAM) and drummer Vesa Aaltonen (TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI) had played in MADE IN SWEDEN just before this formation. Keyboardist-composer Olli Ahvenlahti had a history in jazz scene, and the guitarist Seppo Tyni was the youngest of them.

The music is closer to jazz than rock. But it's not so lively in a jazzy way; the longish compositions have a lot of repetitiveness and the melodies are not very good ones. I could almost say it's a bit boring album, as "professional" and well-done as it is. Pekka Pohjola definitely composes better music by himself than together with Ahvenlahti. After two listenings I don't remember much of anything of this music; it didn't touch my feelings really. Not that there were any bad, irritating things, maybe it just was too surpriseless and safe. For example guitar playing is more or less in the same style throughout the album, and on the keyboards there aren't much variety either. Anyway I wish someone here have enjoyed this more than I did and writes a more favourable and detailed review.

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