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TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Finland


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Tasavallan Presidentti biography
This group is one of the earliest prog group from all of Scandinavia (their first album was recorded in 69 but the group has roots from 68) although they were hardly classic prog, playing a very wide spectrum of music from jazzy stuff to blues via folk and rock. All four albums are very constant in the crazy Finnish way of playing progressive music, but you will have a hard time to find their second album - the only one not to be released on Love Record under which recorded TABULA RASA and FINNFOREST as well as WIGWAM a band that could they (TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTITI) be compared to. Their last album was more similar to COLOSSEUM.

: : : Hugues Chantraine, BELGIUM : : :

Related albums:
The band played as a back-up band on PEKKA STRENG's "Magneettimiehen Kuolema" album.

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Milky Way MosesMilky Way Moses
Import
Imports 2007
Audio CD$15.63
$21.25 (used)
Tasavallan PresidenttiTasavallan Presidentti
Import
Imports 2007
Audio CD$16.98
$20.70 (used)
Tasavallan Presidentti (2nd) / Lambertland (2on1)Tasavallan Presidentti (2nd) / Lambertland (2on1)
Limited Collector's Edition · Import · Explicit Lyrics
Walhalla 7365538903012
Audio CD$24.99
lambert land LPlambert land LP
SONET
Vinyl$100.00 (used)
Live (Pal/All Region)Live (Pal/All Region)
Import
2008
DVD$24.99
$17.99 (used)
Milky Way Moses by Tasavallan Presidentti [Music CD]Milky Way Moses by Tasavallan Presidentti [Music CD]
Imports
Audio CD$40.65
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TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI discography


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TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.67 | 36 ratings
Tasavallan Presidentti
1969
3.82 | 40 ratings
Tasavallan Presidentti II
1971
4.19 | 62 ratings
Lambertland
1972
3.34 | 29 ratings
Milky Way Moses
1974
3.03 | 8 ratings
Six Complete
2006

TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.91 | 6 ratings
Still Struggling For Freedom
2001

TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

2.09 | 3 ratings
Six + Live!
2007

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

2.05 | 2 ratings
Classics (Comp.)
1990

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

2.00 | 2 ratings
Time Alone with You / Obsolete Machine
1969
4.86 | 2 ratings
Solitary / Deep Thinker
1970
3.90 | 2 ratings
Sisältäni Portin Löysin / Selvä Näkijä
1972
3.00 | 2 ratings
Six
2005

TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Milky Way Moses by TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.34 | 29 ratings

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Milky Way Moses
Tasavallan Presidentti Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars Ever ponder on some mysterious album that somehow, for no apparent reason, becomes a mythical icon and you don't even know why? That is how I feel by Tasavallan Presidentti's Milky Way Moses, an LP I bought back in 1974 or so, initially enamored by the lovely cover art of bright green and sharp yellow trees and finally enthralled by the cool jazzy prog within the grooves. I finally nailed a CD copy and was immediately plunged into a drenching pool of self-inflicted nostalgia that has me beaming. This album remains my favorite Finish prog recording (though the recent Moonwagon albums come awfully close). Jukka Tolonen needs no introduction, a legendary guitarist closely associated in my mind with vintage Jan Akkerman, where robust jazzy chords and slick leads conspire to woo the casual listener and convert them permanently. Together with bassist Heikki Virtanen, sax/flute master Pekka Pöyry and drum king Vesa Aaltonen, Tolonen provides a shimmering glide for singer Eero Raittinen to show off his vocal skills. A nice mix of short and long tracks makes for a delightful menu.

There is little pussyfooting here as title track takes off from the get-go, a flick of the wrist envelops the axe strings with confident technique allied with intense feeling and you just know this will be fun. Breezy, airy jazz- rock, a cool urban vibe where blaring saxophones, tingling piano and that dogged riff keep it all hanging tight. Eero vocalizes nicely in a semi-trembling yelp that is actually quite striking. The stage is set for some soloing, well anchored by the rhythm tandem. Jukka then takes the spotlight and delivers a wah-wah duet with Pekka's squeaky sax, a true masterpiece moment where both maul each other with clever mini blasts, a delirious little musical game. Another vocal refrain which veers into a heavier raging funk and the deed is done. Excellent!

The stunning 11 minute+ epic "Caught from the Air" is another highlight moment, a thrilling musical escapade that swerves in a myriad of directions. Feline guitar and fluttering piano combine to create a jazz tornado that ultimately permits Pekka to go bananas on his sax, in a very overt Didier Malherbe style. Midway through, the groove goes from very relaxed, almost like instrumental Stealy Dan, to more hysterical, notes blasted at a furious pace and decidedly jazz where screeching organ, pounding piano, irate sax and mad guitar rule the waves. The vocals return to that familiar exuberance and the whole just glides along with zest to an effortless finale.

On "Jelly", Virtanen and Aaltonen propel the jiggly jello-jazz with syncopated mayhem, a delightful turbo- powered lightning bolt that knows no respite just finality. Disjointed yet controlled, the manic 3 minute + piece shows off the talents of all involved. The Focus parallel is evident in both the guitar and the turbulent drumming.

A true 70s vibe appears on "Confusing the Issue" which incorporates some odd stylistics, a Planet Gong cabaret meets Frank Zappa feel, with Eero doing odd things with his voice ("Cucumber Stew"?), not unlike the zealous Canterbury lads. Tolonen rips off an acid-drenched solo, making anyone within earshot to giggle nervously.

The longest sucker is the nearly 14 minute "How to Start a Day", a weird introduction that has some Gong meets the Legendary Pink Dots facets, which then prompts bassist Virtanen to shovel along a clearly defined but relentless groove, flute spiraling above the fray. The subsequent massive jam explosion just creams the jeans! Tight and sublimely crazy! Eero even dares to pull off a cheeky Jim Morrison imitation that will make anyone smile. Hilarious! Fill in that damn sax blare and people will glare. Tubular bells arrive just in time to save the gong, literally!

"Piece of Mind" is led again by that thrilling bass in that classic Howlett/Rowe style, a loopy construction that keeps the imagery flowing. Short sweet and effective.

Like I stated earlier, not the best jazz-rock album, nor is it Tasavallan Presidentti's best but there is something about the pervasive comfort of nostalgia that needs not to be explained and just is. Yes, it sounds dated and perhaps not very relevant but I like it. Always have and forever will. Sax is everything!

4 Starlit prophets

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 Time Alone with You / Obsolete Machine  by TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1969
2.00 | 2 ratings

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Time Alone with You / Obsolete Machine
Tasavallan Presidentti Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

2 stars This Finnish prog pioneer released their aponymous debut album in 1969. It's a strong but slightly uneven mix of ballsy jazz-rock, jazz, blues, psychedelia and also some art music influences, featuring top musicians like the guitarist Jukka Tolonen and sax/flute player Juhani Aaltonen. The vocals are by British- born Frank Robson, who has a thick, bluesy voice, a bit reminding of Procol Harum's Gary Brooker (and Traffic's Steve Winwood, though not as much as Wigwam's Jukka Gustavson did).

So, into this unrated, coverless single. The A-side 'Time Alone With You' doesn't much interest me. It's written by Robson and his vocals sort of push into the centre more than would be needed. The much repeated "naa naa naa naa naa naa" could have been replaced by some instrument. The song is quite fast and straightforward blues-rock.

'Obsolete Machine' was taken from the album, and for me it's among its highlights. It is rooted in blues- rock too, but it has so much more to offer. Aaltonen's flute is fantastic and can be heard almost through the whole track. The rhythm pattern is very nice and lively (I can't say what it is, I have no such musical knowledge). Vesa Aaltonen does excellent work on drums. This song, credited to the whole band, has a perfect balance between sung parts and instrumental sections. It goes forward very determinantly and yet it has a fascinating, psychedelic atmosphere to it. If that was a non-album track I might give one star more, but in my opinion this single is not very notable. 'Time Alone With You' is included as a bonus on the debut album's CD edition.

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 Tasavallan Presidentti II by TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.82 | 40 ratings

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Tasavallan Presidentti II
Tasavallan Presidentti Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars The rather rare second album of TP, the one that never got released in their homeland, but in the neighbouring Sweden, and only very recently received a legit (I think) reissue on Walhalla Records. Recorded in the summer of 70, TP2 is a mix of tracks from their debut album (the embarrassing Teddy Bear and Once Again) and tracks that are proper to this album, but already very reminiscent of the upcoming Lambertland. TP was by then in a transitory state with first singer Robson still in the fold, but not for much longer, but windman Poyry has already replaced Aaltonen.

While the album still features some of the embarrassing moments of their debut album (the afore-mentioned tracks) including the Beatles/Traffic semi-lift-off Weather Brightly. The album suffers from a very average quality (not to say amateurish) production, Tolonen's guitar is in full flight, as can be heard in Introduction, Thinker, Freedom or Tease Me. But you can see that the group still hadn't fully matured by then, as evidenced in the slightly Indian-inspired (tabla- like drumming, and sitar-like guitar strumming) 7-mins track of Sinking. The album's highlights are the near-excellent opening rapid-fire instrumental Introduction, the pleasant flute-drenched Deep Thinker, the slow Struggling For Freedom and the closing choppy descending Tell Me More, all hinting at the upcoming Lambertland album.

The Walhalla CD reissue comes with the full Lambertland album as a bonus, but doesn't feature the splendid artwork, so you're left with a rather average brown and white double picture artwork, with just enough space for the other album's track list. Sooooo, since this second album is rather over-rated, your interest in having this unofficial 2on1 is of rather limited interest. I'd rather advise you to search for the proper Lambertland release, which is easily their best album, and IMHO the only thing you really need from them, unless you'd want to make a CD-r compilation of their other three albums.

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 Six + Live! by TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI album cover DVD/Video, 2007
2.09 | 3 ratings

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Six + Live!
Tasavallan Presidentti Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

2 stars I had this DVD but sold it away. It was so boring. Sadly it seems to be the only DVD of Tasavallan Presidentti, and as such it may turn out to be a disappointment to many. It's filmed in concerts of November 2006 (Helsinki and Tampere, Finland), featuring mostly music from the Six Complete album of the same year. I'm not fond of it, it's bluesy jazz-rock with quite a little progressive elements. The singer Frank Robson has obviously less variety than 40-odd years ago; now his singing is rough blues. Older, classic stuff is quite absent. Also the stage setting and camera work are totally uninspired.

The line-up is almost the same as in 1969: Robson, Juhani Aaltonen (sax, flute), Jukka Tolonen (guitars), Vesa Aaltonen (drums), plus Heikki Virtanen on bass. An achievement in itself, must admit. But the reunion lacks real spark, the material is rather dull in my opinion. Interview was as boring as the concert. Some nice memories here and there but it all was vague. Not recommended, unless you know you like the newer stuff enough.

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 Milky Way Moses by TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI album cover Studio Album, 1974
3.34 | 29 ratings

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Milky Way Moses
Tasavallan Presidentti Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Sean Trane
Special Collaborator Prog Folk

3 stars Last album from this second-most successful Finnish prog band after Wigwam, Milky Way Moses is more or less well in the line of its predecessors, but like everyone of them , has its own characteristics. Indeed, a further line-up change sees original bassist & organist Groundstroem leave (for crosstown buddies Wigwam) and be replaced by Heikki Virtanen, and leaving guitarist Tolonen and saxman Poyry to play keyboards. Graced with a bucolic forest artwork, MWM is a rockier and much more straightforward album than its predecessor. Surprisingly enough, Tolonen doesn't control the songwriting as much (Poyry does) and the lyrics were delegated to their crosstown rivals Wigwam's singer Jim Pembroke.

Opening on the up-beat title track, the musical mood is a hard-rocking one, where Raittinen's vocals are much more at ease (read don't shock or raise eyebrows) than on the previous Lambertland album. The following Caught In The Air track is penned by jazzman Koivistonnen (who released a few good JR/F albums during that era), and it is the MWM track that is most reminiscent of the LL album, because jazzier, but a tad repetitive. The album-shortest collectively-penned Jelly is a 100 MPH hard-jazz-rock track that will knock your socks off, despite being complex.

The flipside opens on the little-more-than-average rockier Confusing The Issue, but follows with the slow-starting electric piano driven almost 14-mins How To Start A Day, which slowly crescendos, but forgets to go places. As for the closing mid-paced Piece Of Mind, it opens on guitar arpeggios and a pedestrian bass, it's not exactly going out with a "bang".

I'm not exactly on how or why the band stopped, but the present ended up being their last, but guitarist Jukka Tolonen would carry on with his solo career (started during the TP tenure) Not nearly as successful as its predecessor, MWM might have a better chance to please the rockier progheads, but IMHO, I even prefer their still clumsy debut to this largely less-inspired but still worthy album.

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 Lambertland  by TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.19 | 62 ratings

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Lambertland
Tasavallan Presidentti Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Mellotron Storm
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 4.5 stars. Very close to being a five star album in my opinion.This Finnish band are simply incredible instrumentally and while some have issues with the vocals I personally don't.This is their third album released in 1972. As the liner notes state,they were at this point (after 2 albums) a household name in Finland.There's a new vocalist and reedsman for this one.The original bass player for WIGWAM not only wrote the lyrics for this album but he did the cover art. And no he doesn't play bass here as original bass player Mans Groundstoem continues to do that.The other two original members are the great Jukka Tolonen on guitar and drummer Vesa Aaltonen. In May of 1972 this band became the first Finnish band to headline a tour in the UK. Some interesting words in the liner notes from Ian MacDonald about this band as well. He stated this in September of 1973. "As with most of the recordings of the Eurorock- movement, "Lambertland" was inexpertly recorded, but the essential qualities of the music break through and show the band to be technically proficient beyond the standards of even Danish groups or France's GONG and MAGMA". I think I would call some of those things he said here controversial at the least.

"Lounge" sounds so good to start out then it settles in then kicks back quickly before we get vocals, flute and a full sound.The liner notes show no keyboards were involved but man it sure sounds like mellotron here but maybe it's the flute.These guys really sound amazing. Sax and guitar trade off before 4 minutes as we get this long instrumental break that ends before 7 1/2 minutes when the vocals return. "Lambertland" opens with gentle guitar and atmosphere.The vocals a minute in are almost spoken.They stop as percussion and sounds that echo take over. It starts to build after 3 1/2 minutes.Vocals and a fuller sound come in before 5 minutes. It blends into "Celebration Of The Saved Nine" where the intricate guitar and sax impress with their complexity. Some nice chunky bass too as the drums pound.

"The Bargain" has a beat with sax and guitar as the vocals come and go. Catchy stuff. An uplifting section arrives after 5 1/2 minutes but it's brief. "Dance" has a killer bass, drum and guitar intro. Flute joins in too.The guitar lights it up after 2 minutes right through until before 4 1/2 minutes. He's ripping it up again 5 1/2 minutes in. "Last Quarters" sounds amazing to start then the flute then vocals join in. A calm before 6 minutes then it picks back up with vocals a minute later.

An incredible album that will appeal to JRF fans.

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 Lambertland  by TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI album cover Studio Album, 1972
4.19 | 62 ratings

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Lambertland
Tasavallan Presidentti Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars After the psychedelia of their previous albums, Tasavallan Presidentti underwent a similar evolution to that undergone by Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention, moving into jazz fusion by the time this album came out. Of course, there are differences; for starters, Zappa's quirky sense of humour and ready command of a million different styles of musical composition clearly aren't present here. But at the same time, I think the album does succeed in breaking some new ground; in sections, it sounds almost like the sort of territory that Henry Cow or Discipline/Matthew Parmenter would explore in their jazzier moments in years to come. Not a full-blown classic, but still a solid album more than worth a listen.

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 Tasavallan Presidentti II by TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI album cover Studio Album, 1971
3.82 | 40 ratings

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Tasavallan Presidentti II
Tasavallan Presidentti Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Take classic-era Procol Harum, make the keyboards less dominant, and switch out the classical influences for jazz and Hendrix and you might end up with something a bit like Tasavallan Presidentti's sound on their second album. The Procol Harum influence is particularly notable in Frank Robson's vocals, but also comes to the fore regularly in the music too - I Love You Teddy Bear could be a lost track from Procol's debut. Jukka Tolonen's guitar work is clearly technically skilled but at the same time doesn't seem very creative - his solo on Introduction, for example, is pretty damn tight, but at the same time it's also kind of predictable.

So, a jazzy Procol Harum without a guitarist quite on the level of Robin Trower, keyboardists less willing to completely dominate proceedings, and meaty sax interventions from Pekka Pöyry - a fun enough combination, but not quite anything to set the world on fire. It's a good album, but not much more than a good album; three stars.

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 Sisältäni Portin Löysin / Selvä Näkijä  by TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1972
3.90 | 2 ratings

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Sisältäni Portin Löysin / Selvä Näkijä
Tasavallan Presidentti Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars For me this version of Pekka Streng's anthem for consciousness expansion process is the most precious I have yet heard. The band played also on his "Magneettimiehen Kuolema" album, but here Pekka Streng is replaced with Eero Raittinen on vocals; A solution which first might not sound as an appealing choice. However I feel Eero managed to reach here a really touching level to the vocal interpretation, shimmering with divine prophetic power. Also as the determined calm guitar chord progressions of Jukka's slighlty echoed electric guitar mingle with celestial melodic lines of Pekka Pöyry's flute, a transcendental tonal poem for these masterful lyrics is borne. Vesa Aaltonen creates tender waves supporting this wind of change, and the whole piece stands concrete and convincing as an obelisk of truth larger than life. I think the theme of finding gates within one's mind is universal, free from restrictions of values or cultural backgrounds. I believe it can be achieved with many methods, most optimally via healthy lifestyle, will of understanding the world from larger perspective, and will to evolve as a human being to grander direction. The B-side of the single "Selvä Näkijä" is more casual jazzy lounging in vein of the tracks from "Milky Way Moses" LP, and though the lyrical content has mystic themes, it deviates in my opinion from the concept of sacred revelation of the A-side's masterpiece. I believe this version of "Sisältäni Portin Löysin" is available from some Pressa's compilations, and I would be curious to hear other opinions about this song and version. Most possibly there are various insights to question what is most successfully performed, this choice being just my own sincere insight, and not being more than one truth among all cicra seven milliard truths on this planet; an amount which is constantly increasing with alarming pace.

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 Solitary / Deep Thinker by TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 1970
4.86 | 2 ratings

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Solitary / Deep Thinker
Tasavallan Presidentti Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Eetu Pellonpää
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars I think this vinyl single crystallizes neatly all elements what were great in the first line-up of Pressa, and show both their mellow melancholic and happy jazzy psych rock sides. Both compositions are also best quality they could deliver, making this a really good item to the bar's jukebox selection, collector's hunting item and as bonus tracks for the full album releases. The A-side's "Solitary" is ideal minor ballad for Frank Robson's beautiful voice, and contains Jukka's fine guitar solo's pairing Juhani's saxophone lines. The song does a trip of love-hurt feelings in a circular form, exploiting really beautiful melodies. B-side's "Deep Thinker" is a happier tune for running at the summer pastures or after your local pusher. Music is driven on basis of great rhythm guitar and drums, led by melodic flute and singing, reaching culminations on short and effective guitar solos. In my humble opinion just marvelous 7" of musical awesomeness.

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