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Utopianisti - The Third Frontier CD (album) cover




Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.02 | 126 ratings

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Prog Reviewer
5 stars UTOPIANISTI is a Finnish act led by composer and sax /flute /clarinet /additional keyboards & percussion player Markus Pajakkala. The albums No. 1 and 2 were quite patchy, all-over-the-place kind of works in which the musicians varied almost from track to track. In 2014 Utopianisti grew from a recording project into a stable live band and started the real action with a successful Mexican tour. I myself have also witnessed the group's cheerul energy in their hometown Tampere last year. It is evident that this third album benefits from the tight band, and it was even recorded mostly as a live in the studio except for some instruments and solos. All material is new on this 38½-minute album that is a whole lot more focused set of complex jazz- rock.

Pajakkala tells in the publisher's info sheet how he wants to bring together all things he loves in music: the overwhelming energy, tight combo playing, instrumental acrobatics, challenging harmonies, influences from especially FRANK ZAPPA and PEKKA POHJOLA, wild groove, the search for beauty from unexpected places and so on, but at the same time staying away from self- indulgent difficulty. He's truly succeeded in his goals. Must say that the preceding albums contain some hilarious stuff I'm not so fond of, underlining the will to be humorous. Now all nine tracks grow from a very solid musical substance and I enjoy them all, with one exception though: 'Spanking Season' features quite brutal vocals by Pharaoh Pirttikangas and I always skip that brief track.

Female voice (of Suvi Väyrynen) colours three tracks nicely. My clear favourite is 'The Last Reflection' that features the vocalese element and operates on the more emotional side than several uptempo tracks full of rhythmic complexity. I'm proud to say that the man I've changed few words with makes fantastic and excellently played music that any lover of fusion by Zappa, Pekka Pohjola, PASSPORT etc. from all over the globe will find deeply gratifying. Although it's not a perfect album, and also it could be a bit longer, I believe now is an appropriate time to use the rare full rating. Remember the name UTOPIANISTI!

Matti | 5/5 |


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