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Tasavallan Presidentti - Still Struggling For Freedom  CD (album) cover


Tasavallan Presidentti


Jazz Rock/Fusion

3.88 | 13 ratings

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Eetu Pellonpaa
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
5 stars My personal enthusiasm for this record is certainly based to memories of these gigs I managed to attend. The impact of these events was boosted by presumption that I would never be able to see my favorite classic Finnish band actually on stage. I also like Frank Robson's voice slightly more than Eero Raittinen's, so their earlier line-up gathered to these sets was also closer to my heart. The songs are constructed with conventional jazz-rock structures, sung verses being at the beginnings and the ends of the songs, and the middle parts being reserved for the improvisational interplay of guitar and wind instruments. There are some sections for bass and drum solos too, but the rhythm section luckily stays mostly on their conventional territories, thus creating the space for the two main tenor instruments. The album opener "I Love You Teddy Bear" is in my opinion the best version the group has managed to perform from this "hit ballad", and it surely is a lovely song. I also think that many of the versions here are much better than on their early studio records. I conclude that the musicians' playing experience from many decades have polished their skill and sense of style, and possibly concert arena was more preferable working area for the band than studio. I recall from a radio interview Måns Groundstroem contemplating that they should not have emphasized on studio recordings, but practice more for gigs and record them with proper gear I know YLE broadcasting company has early 1970's audio and film archive of their gigs, along with many other Finnish progressive rock bands. Hopefully they would be carved to vinyl in the future, instead of seldom radio airings or filling documentary interviews with tantalizing one minute excerpts. Sadly their cover version of Frank Zappa's "King Kong" is not presented here, perhaps because of copyright issues. On the concerts Frank played keyboards to this song, and the tune has been on band's repertoire from their early days. Some tracks which they performed from albums "Lambertland" are also left out, most certainly as they did not work well at the concerts. Though I like Robson's vocal tone, his vocal skills are not compactible to Raittinen's more hoarse and flexible voice. Even though these lacks, I rejoice this album for cherishing the memories of those evenings and hearing experienced musicians doing their thing.
Eetu Pellonpaa | 5/5 |


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