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JARTSE TUOMINEN

Jazz Rock/Fusion • Finland


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Jartse Tuominen biography
Guitarist Jartse Tuominen started his recording career in Finland with heavy metal band OUTBURST in the eighties. In the late eighties Jartse formed TAKALA PROJECT, a progressive jazz band. At the same time he played in a pop band called INDIANA, the band continued together until the late nineties. Through the nineties, Jartse played in studio & live sessions with many world-renown artists in USA and Europe.
Jartse traveled to Texas in the late nineties to play at Jazz Alive Festival in San Antonio with his jazz-rock/fusion band JARTSE TUOMINEN GROUP and decided to reside there soon afterwards.
In 1999 Jartse produced and released his first full length album 'Black & Blue' under his name. The songs are old Finnish tangos from 1930's and 1940's, which he arranged to blues/jazz style.
Next CD was the eclectic 'Northern Lights' in 2001, with four vocalists guesting. The same year, a progressive instrumental jazz-fusion project 'Progressive', recorded with the TAKALA PROJECT in 1991, was re-released. This is his most ambitious work to date, a real progressive tour-de-force.
Jartse's fourth album, 'Time Of Change', which is mostly instrumental, except for the last two tracks featuring Yvonne Charbonneau on vocals, was released in 2005 and was a critical success.
Besides his solo recordings, Jartse has produced albums for many various artists, has written music for several films and TV-shows and formed GTR-Tour in Finland in 2005, a guitar tour/festival that he has hosted regularly since then. Currently Jartse is working on his fifth album.

Bio by Lucas Biela, on the basis of information from Jartse Tuominen website. Further changes and corrections by Sonja Sipila.

Jartse Tuominen official website

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JARTSE TUOMINEN discography


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JARTSE TUOMINEN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Black & Blue
1999
4.00 | 4 ratings
Northern Lights
2001
4.97 | 4 ratings
Progressive
2001
5.00 | 1 ratings
Time Of Change
2005

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JARTSE TUOMINEN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Progressive by TUOMINEN, JARTSE album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.97 | 4 ratings

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Progressive
Jartse Tuominen Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by odinalcatraz

5 stars I felt the urge to write a small review and that is a rare thing for me. I have 3 of Jartse's albums and it is clear that he can shine in any genre he pleases. They are all completely different, from blues to hard rock and all of the same calibre. I was always a big fan of Brand X and Colosseum 2 with Gary Moore. The album "Progressive" is right in that ballpark. Incredible playing but never just speed for show. There wasn't a great deal of new music around to astound the senses in 1991, so how the hell this got missed I have no idea! I hope he will make another in this vein. Play this one loud!

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 Progressive by TUOMINEN, JARTSE album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.97 | 4 ratings

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Progressive
Jartse Tuominen Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by lucas
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars A jazz-fusion blast

Released in 2001 but recorded in 1991, Jartse Tuominen's 'Progressive' is an album of whirling drums and guitar acrobatics played within several different musical contexts: boogie-rock ("snack" with cheerful guitar and vintage keyboards, bringing to mind Dixie Dreg's "the Great spectacular" of 'dregs of the earth', and the second half of "scare"), jazz-rock ("flying with you" with opening and closing sections in a light smooth-jazz vibe where Gary Moore-like guitar replaces the saxophone, followed by some more upbeat piano-driven jazz madness), jazz-funk ("first", with clever use of cymbals, crushing guitars and pompous keyboards not far from the "cheesy" sounds of Frank Zappa's "easy meat" as performed on the live recording 'tinseltown rebellion'), military march (first half of "scare" and the "worrying" - hence the song title - interplay of repetitive and echoing rhythm guitar and keyboards, reminiscent of Cure's opening track to 'seventeen seconds', the aptly named "a reflection "), hard-rock ("sledgehammer" like Led Zeppelin's "Moby Dick" on steroids and Van Halen-like guitar phrasing, as well as the last third of "shaving cream man" with its Annihilator-like rhythms including Jeff Waters-like soloing), far east folklore ("one night in Tokyo, with accents of japanese tradtional music in main theme), progressive rock ("one night in Tokyo" again, with dark crimsonesque atmosphere - think "lark's tongue in Aspic pt 2" - and the first two thirds of "shaving cream man" that we can regard as a tribute to Rush's 'moving pictures' with the overture of "red barchetta" and the soloing of "YYZ" in the middle of the track).

This album showcases the "extraterrestrial" skills of the musicians and is a good addition to anyone who likes their music dynamic and cheerful, where jazz-fusion would meet the guitar-shredding world of the Shrapnel label records.

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 Northern Lights by TUOMINEN, JARTSE album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.00 | 4 ratings

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Northern Lights
Jartse Tuominen Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Matti
Collaborator Neo-Prog Team

3 stars I was told about this Finnish musician some weeks ago and borrowed two albums. Nice to see him added here, even though I'm quite surprised by the excellent reception. Tuominen lives in the USA which probably explains to some degree that he's not very well known here in his home country (as far as I know). Even the albums were placed in the library's storage. My first thought of the music was that this hasn't much to do with prog. Also the jazz/fusion approach is rather lame, especially speaking of the compositions. Lucas's words of AOR / melodic rock hit the nail. This album is roughly half instrumentals, half songs with vocalists. At the same library trip I borrowed a CD of respected guitarist Seppo Tyni (Juhlat Suulissa, 1995) and I feel Tuominen's jazz-rock is more or less in the same musical map, only with more vocals and much more predictable structures. The AOR feeling would lead my guesses towards late 80's or 90's if I heard this in a blindfold test.

The opening instrumental is a biting sharp track concentrating on Jartse's electric guitar. Then comes a calm song 'Ghost of Love' with Annika Wiklund's nice, slightly raspy voice. Timo Rainio, singing on two tracks, sounds like he's from a melodic hard rock band (he might be, I don't know). 'On the Other Side' reminds me of some hard rock ballads of bands like Scorpions or Whitesnake. Hannu Leiden sings on three tracks, one of them being a duet with Wiklund. His voice is also attempting to sound "rock". 'Inca Princess' is another semi-ballad with an acoustic-oriented sound. 'The Loner' is an instrumental blues ballad written by Gary Moore. The duet 'Hearts on Parole' is melodic AOR with some Toto-like edginess in the guitar. The brief keyboard solo sounds a bit muddy, but I sort of enjoy the catchiness of that song.

It's obvious that the technical excellence of Jartse's guitar is in a central role on the album. That said, maybe there are too many vocal songs, all of them not very good. Ila Loueranta (better known as a multi- instrumentalist in the band of the late Juice Leskinen) sings on 'Never Enough', one of the tracks I rather skip. The final track 'Northern Lights' is a moody, melancholic instrumental. Concerning the producton and playing this is a good album, easily entertaining at least, but as for the music itself, I find it hard to believe it would be a great find to very many prog listeners.

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 Time Of Change by TUOMINEN, JARTSE album cover Studio Album, 2005
5.00 | 1 ratings

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Time Of Change
Jartse Tuominen Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by lucas
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

— First review of this album —
5 stars Jazz-rock...and so much more!

Jartse Tuominen is an accomplished finnish guitarist who played with a host of renown artists: Joe Satriani, Jackson Browne, Doobie Brothers among others. With 'Time Of Change' he recorded a bunch of instrumental songs (except two sung ones) in a melodic jazz-rock approach, throwing in elements of shredding guitar, pop, heavy prog, southern rock, blues, space rock, funk, organized as described below in the track-by-track review.

"Midnight Express" is a dynamic track where drums are excited like the boiling magma of a volcano ready to explode, and with excursions into southern-rock/heavy-prog (the sabbathian guitar and the strange keys in the chorus)

"Seven Seas" features aquatic (see the title of the song!) and echoing rhythmic guitar together with floating keyboard layers like a breeze blowing, and aerial guitar solos. Drumming is complex and retains the same hypnotic effect as the rhythmic guitar loops with its repeated pattern. The song builds slowly into more aggressive territories when drum chops go to prominence and guitar solos go faster and devoid of any clear direction. The control is not completely lost as the echoing guitar and the regular pattern of drums remains. The expression ?calm before the storm" takes all its sense here : the waves of the "seven seas" keep quiet before becoming turbulent.

"Texas Roots" : one immediately thinks of Stevie Ray Vaughan and Texas blues, and ? bingo - this is the case with the bluesy opening guitar theme, which is repeated all over the song. Drums are in a funky mood. Hammond reinforces the vintage 70's funk side. A Vai-esque and anthemic guitar solo bursts in the chorus. Crazy guitar soloing and soaring Hammond interpserse the choruses.

The title track is a ballad with its lulling rhythm and gentle picking in the first part : a kind of mix ? when you listen carefully ? of slowed down spanish flamenco, a bit of slowed down country/bluegrass, and echoes of shredding guitarists like Satriani. Electric guitar then bursts together with Hammond and gives a taste of Gary Moore's "parisienne walkways" to the song. As the song progresses, the lulling air of the debut comes back and even offers a wink to Pink Floyd in the passage with aerial/anthemic guitar and soaring Hammond.

"Out there" is a song with strong echoes of Steve Morse's melodic lines in the main guitar theme and an overall jazz-funk mood. The "impossible guitar part" at 1'49 is reminiscent of Steve Vai at the time he was with Frank Zappa.

Except for, once again, the Steve Morse aerial and melodic approach in the chorus, "one of these days" is in an even more jazz-funk tone than the previous one, with nice hypnotic guitar picks. Towards the two thirds though, the dynamic jazz-funk has been traded for a short hazy jazz-rock passage with a bass solo, then the hopping jazz-funk comes back after the melodic solo of the chorus.

"Weird Timing" is a briliant heavy/jazz rock tune with energetic playing. Zappa comes to mind with the eccentric guitar solos, but the blasting guitars give also a southern rock feel to the whole. On a par with the title of the song, a drum solo punctuates the music.

In the beginning, "Dreamer" starts as a sunny folksy balad with some echoing pastoral rhythm guitars and lulling guitar solos. It soon turns to a shredding affair, with the virtuosic and punchy solos of Jartse, alternating between weeping solos and more acrobatic ones.

The album ends with two sung tracks, with the beautiful voice of Yvonne Charbonneau. The first of these two songs, "Love And The Perfect Game" is a positive pop song with solid rhythmic base. Guitar solos are in a Gary Moore's bluesy tone.

The second song, "the longest mile" retains a sadder atmosphere, with a slower pace, echoing guitars of Jartse, the suspended Hammond, and more tremolos in Yvonne's vocals.

Overall, this album is very enjoyable with great dynamics, the right balance between guitar acrobatics and melodic themes, and a great diversity of influences.

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 Northern Lights by TUOMINEN, JARTSE album cover Studio Album, 2001
4.00 | 4 ratings

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Northern Lights
Jartse Tuominen Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by lucas
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

5 stars When top-notch musicanship meets catchy and memorable melodies

Jartse Tuominen is an accomplished guitarist who started his solo career at the end of the 1990's. 'Northern lights' is his second record, and the material proposed here (AOR [read "melodic rock"] declined in several styles ' see detailed review further on) contrasts with another record, aptly entitled 'progressive' (a progressive and complex musical tour de force) released by Jartse around the same time. On to 'Northern Lights': we have here a collection of songs that overall give a flair of AOR to the album, but that are covered with different musical sauces : - Instrumental rock/jazz-rock with the 3 instrumental tracks (the opening track, "Introducing", in the vein of Simon Phillips' projects with Steve Lukather or Derek Sherinian, "the loner", which is a little tribute to Gary Moore ' without looking at the credits you recognize instantly Phil Lynott's long-time friend's phrasing, and finally the light and jazzy closing track "northern lights", with its first and last quarters lead by bass (Patrick O'Hearn comes to mind with his ambient stuff) and guitar touches reminiscent of Joe Satriani's "I believe", a song which had, what a coincidence!, Simon Phillips on drums. - Pop, first on "ghost of love" with its superb and delicate female vocals and memorable chorus. Then on "on the other side", with intonation of vocals reminding Joey Tempest of Europe. - Hard rock/southern rock on "Over", an upbeat midtempo song with male vocals reminiscent at times Glenn Hughes, at others Danny Joe Brown of Molly Hatchett fame. - Folk-rock on "Inca Princess" with theatrical male vocals. - Arena rock/AOR, first on "Hearts on parole" where strong male vocals alternate with raspy Bonnie Tyler'esque female vocals. The guitar line in the chorus is reminiscent of TOTO's "hold the line", a liquid Hammond B3 comes in the bridge. Then on "Love me, hate me" with female vocals that could be placed somewhere between Janis Joplin and Doro's aggressive singing styles. - Soul in "Never enough" with funky guitar picks, brass section, saxophone, Hammond B3 all along, congas, and vocals praising like in a gospel song. - Prog-rock on "Miracle Man", with processed vocals not far from the Beatles ("blue jay way"), and Genesis ("grand parade of lifeless packaging") in the introduction and Pink Floyd ("waiting for the worms") in the conclusion, and the right balance between straightforward rhythm and more tortuous ones, like on Spock's Beard albums.

What strikes in the album is the diversity of material but also the diversity of vocals (4 lead vocalists in all). Jartse's guitar can be heard all along the album, but is never overwhelming, rather always giving directions to the song and in harmony with the band.

This album is full of catchy melodies, and lifts the spirits. This would be a shame not to listen to it.

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Thanks to lucas for the artist addition.

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