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Pekka Pohjola - Pihkasilmä Kaarnakorva CD (album) cover


Pekka Pohjola


Jazz Rock/Fusion

4.19 | 97 ratings

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5 stars Sometimes art appreciation takes awhile. It requires time for that strange and mysterious process of intake, digestion and impact to occur when something new, especially music, demands attention from our senses. If we're lucky, the result is worth the mental and physical investment. Other times we remain unimpressed or, at best, respectful. But what happens in that period? What transformation takes place that allows a renewed perception and even appreciation of fresh ideas? The music is still the same, so it must be some shift in us.

Multi-instrumentalist Pekka Pohjola's first album reflects this phenomenon well. An extraordinary combination of modern chamber music, hot jazz, distinctive European prog rock and a bold spirit that, for 1972, approaches avant-garde. The Finn and a hearty bunch of players on winds, drums and keys make a music that may seem scattered or 'jammy' on the surface but if sat with, Pihkasilma kaarnakorva reveals itself to be a powerful and refined prog treasure house. Intricate and thoughtful angles, driving pulses, unforeseen mutations, all with Pohjola's firm but sensitive direction move this set forward starting with 10-minute 'Metsonpelia' and Pekka's hot walking, hard-bopping bass lines. Twisting metrics between his piano, Risto Pensola's clarinet and Jukka Gustavson's organ-grind followed by a longwinded drums/bass exchange, the piece finishing as strongly as it began. 'Virtojen Kiharat' jazzrocks big time, filled with beautiful, haunting organ scurls and melodic changelings. The playful 'Armoton Idylli' swings, clangs, dances and Klezmers the house down. And 'Nipistys/Valittaja' is a glorious twelve-minute gargantuan that rivals almost anything Gentle Giant ever did as it gradually builds into a tumbling prog snowball of great moments closed by a nifty little organ epilogue.

I do not give this album five stars because it's perfect. It isn't. But it is - and by any estimation must have been - a prog rock masterpiece. Look-- If Daniel Denis and Michel Berckmans had kidnapped Keith Emerson during the Tarkus recordings and forced him with one of his own daggers to play with them, you might've gotten something like this.

Atavachron | 5/5 |


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