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Tasavallan Presidentti - Milky Way Moses CD (album) cover


Tasavallan Presidentti


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.40 | 57 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
3 stars In 1973 hardly anyone would guess that TP would be history within one year (for two decades). The previous year saw the departure of the original bassist Måns Groundstroem and the arrival of Heikki Virtanen, who happened to be Jukka Tolonen's cousin. The band continued as an internationally respected live act. The fourth album was recorded in London, August-September 1973, and produced by the established Peter Eden. This time the lyrics came from the pen of Jim Pembroke (WIGWAM), and the reeds player Pekka Pöyry - a notable figure in the Finnish jazz scene - stepped more into the light as a composer alongside Jukka Tolonen.

The 8-minute title track is instrumentally oriented, typical slice of TP's jazz-rock, more ballsy than focused or melodic. It seems Eero Raittinen as a vocalist is not at his best on this album. 'Caught in the Air' originates from EERO KOIVISTOINEN's groundbreaking avant/proto-prog album Valtakunta (1968), in which the fancy lyrics of the poet Jarkko Laine were sung by Eero Raittinen. The track is stretched up to 11:37 with wandering instrumental sections; I'd say there's not enough proggy innovations to justify the length of this version that clearly loses to the fantastic, psychedelically coloured original.

'Jelly' is an instrumental group effort, not much more than a jam. Pöyry's two compositions are placed in the end. 'How to Start a Day' is quite interesting especially for the paranoid vocals that approach whispering and muttering. But again, 13:47 is way too long for the thin musical contents. The most economic song 'Piece of Mind' is rather calm; nice, but unspectacular. The album came out in April 1974 when the spark had begun to die out. Tasavallan Presidentti collapsed after the summer's tours, and JUKKA TOLONEN continued his solo career with excellent Fusion albums.

Matti | 3/5 |


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