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JUKKA TOLONEN

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Finland


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Jukka Tolonen biography
Born in Helsinki in 1952 Jukka Tolonen co founded in 1969 the rock/jazz fusion band Tasavallan Presidentti, who recorded four critically acclaimed albums from 1969 to 1974. During this time, Tolonen also recorded two albums with the Finnish Prog band Wigwam.
In 1971 Tolonen recorded his self titled debut recording presenting a mixture of jazz-rock and folk, followed by "Summer Games"(1972), "The Hook"(1972), "Hysterica"(1974) all in the same musical direction. Thanks to his solo records as well as his participations with Tasavallan Presidentti and Wigwam, Tolonen became very popular in Finland and to a lesser extent in Europe and the USA.
In the mid seventies Tolonen formed the Jukka Tolonen Band, featuring Swedish guitarist Coste Apetrea (ex Samla/Zamla) and presenting a more polished jazz-funk. The JTP released a couple of excellent records among them the live album "Montreux Boogie". In 1978 he released the solo acoustic album "Mountain Stream".
Throughout the 80's Tolonen touched other musical styles, recorded a classic acoustic guitar duet with Coste Apetrea and in 1982 a reggae album. He continued to be active on stage, in several line-ups including Bill's Boogie Band with Swedish vocalist/percussionist Bill Öhrström and participated in Jim Pembroke's short lived project, Filthy Rich and recorded with Finnish world fusion band Piirpauke.
During the nineties, Jukka has been working in a "mainstream" rock format with the Jukka Tolonen Trio and recorded again with Piirpauke. In 1999 Tolonen joined the reformed Tasavallan Presidentti who released a live record, "Still Struggling For Freedom" in 2001, followed by a new studio record "Six Complete" in 2006.

Jukka Tolonen is one of the most versatile guitarists whose active career covers now nearly 40 years!

His first four solo records are highly recommended

===Martin Horst===





Why this artist must be listed in www.progarchives.com :
approved by the jazz-rock fusion team



Discography:
Tasavallan Presidentti - Tasavallan Presidentti (1969)
Wigwam - Tombstone Valentine (1970)
Wigwam - Fairyport (1970)
Tasavallan Presidentti - Magneettimiehen kuolema (With Pekka Streng) (1970)
Jukka Tolonen - Tolonen! (1971)
Tasavallan Presidentti - Tasavallan Presidentti (II) (1971)
Tasavallan Presidentti - Lambertland (1972)
Jukka Tolonen - Summer Games (1972)
Jukka Tolonen - The Hook (1972)
Nordic Jazz Quintet ...
read more

Jukka Tolonen official website

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Storyville Films 2006
DVD$1.94
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TolonenTolonen
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HookHook
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Summer GamesSummer Games
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$20.62 (used)
Montreux BoogieMontreux Boogie
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On the Rocky RoadOn the Rocky Road
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JUKKA TOLONEN discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

JUKKA TOLONEN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.34 | 26 ratings
Tolonen!
1971
3.94 | 15 ratings
Summer Games
1973
4.48 | 23 ratings
The Hook
1974
4.11 | 19 ratings
Hysterica
1975
3.69 | 12 ratings
Passenger to Paramaribo
1977
3.91 | 4 ratings
Mountain Stream
1978
3.83 | 9 ratings
JTB
1979
0.00 | 0 ratings
High Flyin'
1980
3.00 | 2 ratings
Just Those Boys (Jukka Tolonen Band)
1980
2.33 | 3 ratings
Touch Wood [with Coste Apetrea]
1981
2.33 | 6 ratings
Dums Have More Fun
1981
0.00 | 0 ratings
In A This Year Time
1982
3.00 | 1 ratings
Blue Rain [with Coste Apetrea]
1985
0.00 | 0 ratings
Radio Romance
1986
0.00 | 0 ratings
Last Mohican (Jukka Tolonen Trio)
1995
0.00 | 0 ratings
Big Time
1997
0.00 | 0 ratings
Cool Train - Tolonen Plays Coltrane!
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
Juudan Leijona
2011

JUKKA TOLONEN Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Montreux Boogie (Jukka Tolonen Band)
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
Jazz-Liisa 3
2016

JUKKA TOLONEN Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.68 | 3 ratings
Jukka Tolonen and Coste Apetrea
1982

JUKKA TOLONEN Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 2 ratings
Crossection
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Impressions
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Classics - The Rarest
1990
2.00 | 1 ratings
On The Rocky Road - A Retrospective 1971 - 1997
2000

JUKKA TOLONEN Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Silva the Cat
1975
0.00 | 0 ratings
Silva the Cat
2002

JUKKA TOLONEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Mountain Stream  by TOLONEN, JUKKA album cover Studio Album, 1978
3.91 | 4 ratings

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Mountain Stream
Jukka Tolonen Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars -- The First Review of This Album --

The sixth solo album of the ex- TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI guitarist & composer JUKKA TOLONEN is a solo work in every sense of the word, and an acoustic one. To the dedicated listeners of acoustic guitar soloing this naturally might be his most rewarding album, but I, and probably the majority of us, clearly prefer the preceding five albums performed by a varying bunch of musicians, especially both the more acoustic and serene "Summer Games" and the more electrified and lively fusion album "The Hook". I do appreciate good music for solo guitar (I have an LP by john Williams playing J. S. Bach, which I like a lot, and I enjoy e.g. STEVE HACKETT's acoustic works), I'm just not very deeply into music for solo instruments in general.

The two longish opening tracks are quite introvert, classically oriented compositions with some Ethnic nuances, and the brief and relatively sentimental 'A Little Love Song' brings a lovely, lighter, brighter moment. 'Life on Pluto?' sounds a bit too sketch-like for its repetitive melody line. The shortest tune 'Dimitri's Lullaby' is credited to Jukka's wife Tanja. Nice in its simplicity.

'Spring Is Coming' (14:43) is exceptionally a composition for solo piano, not guitar. No less brilliant technically, as piano was in fact Tolonen's first instrument, studied already at the age of seven. To me this is perhaps the most beautiful track of the album; I'm not sure how much the instrument itself affects to that opinion... Oh, did I just hear a tiny melodic similarity to 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'? Yes, and I believe it's an intented little citation, just few notes long. This hurriless composition is full of warmth and happy emotions. Maybe he should have done a solo piano album as well?!

The final piece is aptly titled as 'Sunrise Samba'. Recommended album if you enjoy intimate and classically oriented music for solo instruments in general and acoustic guitar especially.

 On The Rocky Road - A Retrospective 1971 - 1997 by TOLONEN, JUKKA album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2000
2.00 | 1 ratings

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On The Rocky Road - A Retrospective 1971 - 1997
Jukka Tolonen Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
2 stars The premier Finnish guitar hero (of the 70's at least) JUKKA TOLONEN needs no introduction. Speaking of his compilations, this 2CD set is the only one I'm familiar with, so I can't compare it to others, but nevertheless I have quite mixed feelings about it.

There are various ways to make a compilation, concerning the track choices and the quantitative representation of the albums, and the running order too. Even though I normally prefer a chronological approach, I'm not complaining about the way it's broken here within each disc. The 1st CD [66:15] contains material from the albums Tolonen! (71), Summer Games (73), The Hook (74), Hysterica (75) and A Passenger to Paramaribo (77). Five strong albums, all of which could have been represented more heavily. Curiously even the liner notes mention how the four first solo albums are THE classics.

The 2nd CD [66:12] is compiled from notably weaker and musically very varied albums between the years 1979-1996. Maybe seven albums or so, and each represented with multiple tracks. (To illustrate my point, imagine a Gentle Giant compilation in which the 1st CD thinly covers the first five awesome albums and the 2nd CD contains only material from the later poor albums. Their magnificent 2CD compilation "The Edge of Twilight" contains only five classic albums nearly completely.)

This Tolonen compilation emphasizes the many-sided nature of the guitarist's output, and how he's a superb guitarist in whatever kind of music. The problem is that anyone regarding the early fusion albums to be the main interest (as every JT connoisseur is guaranteed to do) will find a lot of stuff in the latter CD terribly uninteresting and boring. At least I do. More or less straight-forward, totally unoriginal guitar rock, often with vocals -- also by Tolonen himself who certainly is no strong as a vocalist -- and even some reggae tunes. I haven't listened to his 80's/90's albums, but in the light of the choices here, several of them wouldn't have deserved this much representation. The guitar heroics take over the composing and arranging values.

Also the visual looks are ather cheap. The 1st CD alone could be worth 3½ stars (there's a 13-minute waste of space and not all choices are the best possible), but especially in a prog site the second CD lowers my rating to mere two stars. I'm being rather merciless and over-critical, I know...

 Montreux Boogie (Jukka Tolonen Band) by TOLONEN, JUKKA album cover Live, 1978
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Montreux Boogie (Jukka Tolonen Band)
Jukka Tolonen Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Suedevanshoe

4 stars "Montreaux Boogie" is a terrific live document of a razor sharp band letting loose the funky fusion. Dual guitars, bass drums and sax make the driving, intense, hypnotic sound collage that puts you in the pocket and wisks you away for 47 minutes. Guitars are on display of course, but Tolonen likes to hammer you with groove here. The power is in the tight melodies and dynamic interplay between Finland's finest from the late '70's flourishing fusion scene. For those of you who have never heard a Tolonen release, this wouldn't be a bad place to start. Think live Jeff Beck from his fusion period and you won't be too far off with this one.

Like many of my other Tolonen reviews, I'll mention how underxposed this mans body of work is. It holds up to Mahavishnu, Weather Report, RTF, Brand X, Coryell - all the biggies. If you're a fan of those, pick this one up without reservation, along with "The Hook", "Hysterica" and "A Passenger to Perimaribo" as well as his records when he was with Tasavallan Presidentti, one of the first progressive jazzrock acts.

 Passenger to Paramaribo by TOLONEN, JUKKA album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.69 | 12 ratings

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Passenger to Paramaribo
Jukka Tolonen Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Suedevanshoe

4 stars An exciting entry in the jazz/fusion with funk overtones category, "Passenger to Paramaribo" listens on par with Jeff Beck's classic fusion albums "Blow by Blow" and "Wired". The band is tight throughout, enhancing the funk feel along with the crispy clean almost glossy production. "Punks" and "Air Rock" are particular highlights from this 1977 release. A sorely underexposed figure in the jazz rock world, This album is waiting for inclined parties to dive in. If you like Isotope or Colosseum II or Sloche or Jeff Beck's two records I mentioned, give this one a try. It also reminds me of a Larry Coryell guitar fusion with funk release, "Aspects".
 Hysterica by TOLONEN, JUKKA album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.11 | 19 ratings

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Hysterica
Jukka Tolonen Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

5 stars It is true that one of Finland's finest ambassador and veteran performer of this genre would merit more attention here. But considering that guitar legend John McLaughlin doesn't fare much better himself... well, I am resisting of jumping to conclusions. It may (or may not?) help if Tolonen's Discography was updated as otherwise excellent and very mature works are yet to be listed. Missing releases at a glance:

1978 Montreux Boogie (Live), 1995 The Last Mohican, 1997 Big Time, 2004 Cool Train (John Coltrane tribute), also this very album coupled with "The Hook" as a 2 for 1 package, representing tremendous value.

"Hysterica" follows in the footsteps of Tolonen's previous album "The Hook", albeit in a slightly more compact form. All instrumental tracks, but with tighter arrangements and perhaps more melodic compositions in comparison. The added bonus is that another Finnish legend, Pekka Pohjola, on bass is also guesting on some tracks. Altogether, this work represents a fine example of great European Jazz-Rock of that era. A surprise is that "Silva the Cat" taken from this album was released as a single, although it has nothing to do with chart-topping aspirations.

Due to a permanent medical condition, Tolonen was compelled to put his guitars away for good, so new works are not likely. The 2 for 1 CD may still be in circulation and well worth tracking down. Chances are that you could be "hooked" on Tolonen as a result.

 Summer Games  by TOLONEN, JUKKA album cover Studio Album, 1973
3.94 | 15 ratings

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Summer Games
Jukka Tolonen Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars (A shame how few reviews Jukka Tolonen has gained here; again mine is the first one.)

A while ago I gave full rating to The Hook, the third solo album by the Finnish ex-virtuoso guitarist Jukka TOLONEN (born 1952). Recently I've listened to all of his four first albums and I still think The Hook is the best, as well as the fullest of lively Jazz / Fusion spirit. Probably the debut Tolonen! (1971) is his best remembered work, but in my opinion he matured as a composer especially in these early years. Georgie-award (that's a Finnish yearly award for jazz) winning Summer Games is again produced by Måns Groundstroem. At this time Tolonen was influenced by Chick Corea's Return To Forever and Mahavishnu Orchestra (and also Bo Hansson's Lord of the Rings!), but his music remains distinctively Finnish in nature, and is very much at home in the famous Love Records discography of the time.

This album is mellower and more romantic than the ones before and after it. 'Wedding Song' is a serene, relaxed tune that reminds of JADE WARRIOR at their most romantic. Acoustic guitar is accompanied by reeds (flute, soprano sax, trombone) and the rhythm section that stays in the background. A prog listener may get associations also to the soft side of the earliest KING CRIMSON. 'A Warm Trip With Taija' - Taija being his wife - is livelier and jazzier, and twice the length, thus allowing the various instruments have solistic space. Tolonen plays also Mini-Moog and tabla on this beautiful track.

'Impressions of India' starts with a lonely acoustic guitar; the percusions, flute and trombone enter later. A joyful, rather fast number with an Oriental flavour, but not among the best. 'Thinking of You in the Moonshine' slows down the tempo and offers a dreamy, nocturnal piece of music that is hard to pigeonhole into any specific genre. It's a deeply progressive composition that gets more energetic towards the end. The title track is lighthearted and playful like the second track, and the only one to feature Tolonen's piano. I can imagine it being played on an old TV film about people enjoying sunny summer (they often used to have jazz music in them). The final track 'See You (Missing My Baby)' is, as you guess, romantic and mellow, featuring just reeds and acoustic guitar. A nice ending to this beautiful album, which is all too short.

 The Hook by TOLONEN, JUKKA album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.48 | 23 ratings

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The Hook
Jukka Tolonen Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

5 stars - First Review of this Album -

This is the third solo album by the most legendary guitar hero in the Finnish prog history (in addition to a large and respected solo career - mainly in Fusion - he was a key member of TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI). Already the list of musicians is very promising: Esa Kotilainen (moog, clavinet, accordion), Pekka Pöyry (saxes, flute), four other blowers, and the rhythm section of Heikki Virtanen and Esko Rosnell. Tolonen himself plays also piano. The music was recorded in Stockholm's Marcus Music AB and produced by Måns Groundstroem.

The nearly 13-minute 'Aurora Borealis' is a gorgeous celebration of excellent musicianship, and it gives a lot of attention to various instruments - both in combo playing and in soli - in the slightly funky environment. Wow! What a moog solo and drum work! Perhaps the groove continues a bit too long occasionally.

'Starfish' is equally energetic Fusion, loaded with reeds and brass. Full of musical joy that makes you feel happy. The band is just fantastic. All of them. 'The Sea' slows the pace graciously. Nice laid-back groove starring piano, accompanied by the rest of the group in perfect balance. The flute solo... lovely, lovely! The title track starts in a very funky manner and gives the main attention to Tolonen's technical excellence on guitar. This is my least favourite track but still quite interesting as it proceeds.

The relatively brief (3:15) closing track 'Together' is mellow, emotional ballad focusing on piano but containing also nice guitar sounds. I think this album has deserved full rating. In a word, Top Class Fusion in an international scale!

 Hysterica by TOLONEN, JUKKA album cover Studio Album, 1975
4.11 | 19 ratings

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Hysterica
Jukka Tolonen Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The founder of legendary finish Tasavallan Presidentti and also appear on two Wigwam albums, Jukka Tolonen is one of the most respected and well known guitarist ever came from Finland, and why not from Europe. Under his name he release some more then respectable albums in jazz rock/progressive rock field , one of them is Hysterica from 1975. Hysterica like previous two albums is an acclaimed release both by fans as for crititcs aswell. To me is a very worthy jazz rock album, with a touch of his distinct tone not far from bluesy atmosphere. Some killer musicinship here, is obvious because we have here on bass Pekka Pohjola and on drums Esko Rosnell, while on keyboards appear Esa Kotilainen+ lots of other instrunets, trumpet, trombone, sax. The music is quite challenging with blistering guitar chops and fairly intelligent keyboards, the opening track, the most bluesy of the album , a tribute to Jimi Hendrix, is a worthy one but what is to come is most consistent and intresting, the title track, Hysterica, Tiger or Silva the cat are excellent jazz rock/progressive rock pieces that stands among the best of the genre, really high calibre musicianship and interludes between musicians. An almost essential album bith in his catalogue and in this musical field, definetly woth to be discovered. 4 stars for sure. nice art work.

 Jukka Tolonen and Coste Apetrea by TOLONEN, JUKKA album cover DVD/Video, 1982
3.68 | 3 ratings

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Jukka Tolonen and Coste Apetrea
Jukka Tolonen Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BORA

5 stars The flavor of the era.

Many credible artists were duly impressed and inspired by works of the acoustic trio of McLaughlin, DiMeola and de Lucia. This DVD recorded live in Denmark by two of Scandinavia's leading artists pays tribute to the style.

Starting with a piece "Gypsy" is a definite nod towards Django Reinhardt, followed by a Spanish flamenco-like one that more closely resembles the approach of the aforementioned trio. The third piece is more of an original approach and the final track has bluesy elements akin to McLaughlin's interpretation of such. These four somewhat different pieces seem to blend well together in due harmony.

Excellent - er, no - brilliant(!) performance by both artists taking their acoustic guitars to the limit. Highly recommended to those in favor of the style.

The downside is that the DVD is shamefully short at a mere 34 minutes with no bonus material added. The production quality is also rather poor.

Still, that it has nothing to do with the musicianship and the performance is a definite 5.

 Passenger to Paramaribo by TOLONEN, JUKKA album cover Studio Album, 1977
3.69 | 12 ratings

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Passenger to Paramaribo
Jukka Tolonen Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by BORA

4 stars Jukka Tolonen is one of Finland's best known Prog musicians. His solo works are generally instrumental, but this release finds Bill Carson sing on the closing track. Surprisingly, it comes off quite well as a laid back winding down after a generally high intensity "tour the force" of the preceding tracks. This release is perhaps more dynamic and less subtle than Tolonen's previous two albums, but still strongly in the Jazz-Rock vein, this time coupled with some unmistakable Funk. Nothing really wrong with that and the funky approach seem to dominate Tolonen's future releases for the corresponding time period.

A versatile artist who in 2004 eventually arrives at dedicating a whole album to John Coltrane with a title "Cool Train" (yet to be added to his rather incomplete discography on PA).

"A Passenger To Paramaribo" represents excellent musicianship bursting with energy. The odd, lyrical piece "Tanja" (dedicated to his partner) is a welcome interlude. (Curiously, in 2008 Tolonen was jailed for stabbing his partner. By the time of his release in 2010, he developed osteoarthritis and was no longer able to play the guitar.)

Special mention is due to legendary Finnish record label "Love Records" that were instrumental in supporting Finnish Prog till they went out of business. Their logo is charmingly cheeky, but you'll have to Google on that to see it for yourself.

This album is definitely above 4 and contrary to some of the funky bits, it's only a bit short of 5, so to be pedantic, it's an excellent addition bordering on a Prog masterpiece.

Thanks to alucard for the artist addition.

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