Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Uzva - Uoma CD (album) cover



Jazz Rock/Fusion

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
Sean Trane
Prog Folk
4 stars Third album from this hard-to-classify combo. As opposed to their previous album, they are much more electric and the jazz influences are rather more present also. Graced with a na´ve but superb interchangeable artwork, this very long instrumental album is definitely in the jazz-rock domain and the again link different pieces (a bit arbitrarily if you ask me) together, so you will find 11 tracks divided into six "song titles" wghich are all penned by guitarist Heikki Puska , although Vibraphone man Olli Kari helps out on two of the longer tracks.

Opening on the superb 13-min+ Kuoriutuminen, this album warns right away that it will be more electric than the previous album, while the second a slower (and even more electric) burner called Different Realities. With a rather different two-part Chinese Daydream (a little cheesy, IMHO) able to provide a welcome break between more involved numbers. The following Arabian Ran-Ta is one of the highlights of the album with an excellent exchange between the violin and the flute. Of course you are all waiting to find out about that 23- min+ Vesikko tracks (three of them actually), and let's face it, this is the cornerstone on which the album is built. The unavoidable medley of jazz-rock, classical music (they remind me of early Maneige) again turning to far-eastern influences, before shifting to a sort of Mahavishnu fusion (BOF-era) etc. The last track is a quiet harp outro.

With this third album, Uzva is really entering the court of the great fusion bands and most likely will stay around for a while, for they have everything and every ingredient to succeed. Hard to say whether this album is better than the previous Nittoaika (which a was also a small chef d'oeuvre), but it is at least as excellent as it.

Report this review (#97973)
Posted Friday, November 10, 2006 | Review Permalink
4 stars I got this Uzva's last recording Uoma some days ago and fortunately I like this one almost as much as their previous one. The music has gone a bit more electric, maybe in two compositions there are too straight suggestions to chinese and arabic music (instead of more allegory)... But all in all these Chinese Daqydream and Arabian Ran-Ta are very fine compositions. My real faves are anyway majestic Kuoriutuminen, dynamic Vesikko and pastoral Lullaby (only for three acoustic instruments - great final of this item)! On Dec 9. last year I had the greatest pleasure to visit the capital of my neighbour- country - Helsinki - to visit one concert of Uzva where they performed three longish compositions of this Uoma-recording: the results were very intense and a bit more electric than before... Uzva had (and have) some new members and on this Uoma-record also some quest musicians on different acoustic instruments (for example harp and bassoon). This record is very-worth-to-listen Finnish instrumental nature-friendly fusion with some electroacoustic (and acoustic) highlights!
Report this review (#99193)
Posted Friday, November 17, 2006 | Review Permalink
5 stars I think UZVA is one of my favourite Finnish prog bands. A pity that this third album - recorded between October 2004 and April 2006 - will probably remain as their last. The group's mastermind and main composer was guitarist Heikki Puska; the co-composer on some Uoma tracks is Olli Kari who plays vibes, marimba and percussions. The all-instrumental music gives associations to many directions; sometimes it has folky flavour of Hergest Ridge -era MIKE OLDFIELD, sometimes - quite often - there's a Canterbury feel (SOFT MACHINE, CARAVAN, GILGAMESH,...) in the richly arranged and relaxed but deep jazz-rock. Like Sean Trane, also I noticed some similarities with the classic Quebec band MANEIGE, speaking of the chamber music influences. And Uzva have also succeeded to form an identifiable sound of their own, without being trapped at all by the great shadow of the late PEKKA POHJOLA, the most notable individual in the Finnish Fusion of all time.

Oh God how good this band sounds! The music flows efforlessly and has interesting details going on all the time. This is made possible by a long list of musicians: instruments include bassoon, clarinet, bass clarinet, saxophones, flute, piccolo, cello, violin and harp (I hardly had noticed that keyboards are missing). All instruments are used very thoughtfully and economically. Orchestral, overblown grandiosity is absent.

I'm willing to rate this with five stars which I haven't done in ages. Well, actually by doing so I look through my fingers some slightly disturbing restless moments that I don't like, such as in the parts one and two of 'Vesikko', but then again some other listener might welcome those edgier moments. The closing track 'Lullaby' is a calm composition for harp, alto flute and bassoon, a perfect ending for such a colourful and rich album of 71 minutes.

Report this review (#1173337)
Posted Saturday, May 10, 2014 | Review Permalink
Conor Fynes
4 stars 'Uoma' - Uzva (74/100)

I must admit; I wasn't quite sure what to expect from Uzva's Uoma, the third (and presumably final) album of their career. I was first taken aback by their second record Niittoaika, a beautiful work that managed to reinvent the fusion of classic prog rock and jazz in a refreshing way. While nowhere near as impressive as their sophomore, Uzva's debut Tammikuinen Tammela offered a different sort of experience, closer to the chamber rock style of a band like Aranis than anything strictly jazz-related, although once again, Uzva managed to surprise me with their fresh take on a familiar genre.

There's no doubt that Uoma is a technical triumph beyond its predecessors- it took two years to record this album, and the instrumental wizardry Uzva only ever implied they were capable of on past albums takes a strong role in Uoma. Be that as it may, it is the first time I feel Uzva's venture into a new realm has not resulted in a fresh style. For better or worse, Uzva's third album saw them finally marry themselves to prog fusion, as well as the stylistic bells and whistles the label implies. The intimately pastoral tone that in part defined them has made way for progressive fireworks and a fitting demonstration of their obvious chops as players. In a way, it's as if the big wish I had with the debut has been fulfilled; still, I am left feeling like I would have preferred to hear Uzva continue their pursuit of woodland atmosphere and dynamic restraint.

Of course, I do not mean to imply that Uoma is a bad album by any stretch; the change is in most ways an evolution rather than a hindrance. Most of all, Uoma succeeds in bringing the talent and tightness of Uzva to the forefront. Before this, the band made it plainly obvious that they could pull off sophistication of a Gentle Giant or King Crimson calibre, but they chose not to, instead favouring whatever felt best for the composition itself. While there were times even during Niittoaika where I might have wished to hear something more explosive, I think the restraint did more good than harm; above anything else, it set them apart from the legions of equally skilled fusioneers that weren't afraid to strut their skills. In that sense, in spite of the fact it is undoubtedly the most challenging of the three Uzva albums, it is also the most conventional.

In keeping with the band's tradition, Uoma primarily operates with longer suites, broken up into shorter tracks to better get the impression across that they work better as movements of music rather than well-rounded songs. Among these, "Arabian Ran-Ta" is the most instantly gratifying piece, wrapping itself around exotic flute instrumentation and atmospheric tension unheard on Uzva's past work. "Chinese Daydream Part 1" is also noteworthy, if only for the fact that it recalls the immersive atmosphere of Niittoaika. The obviously King Crimson-influenced "Vesikko" ("Part 3" begins with a crunchy riff borrowed from Crimson's "One More Red Nightmare"); like the album's opener "Kuoriutuminen", "Vesikko" is best described as a meticulously composed jam rather than a full-bodied composition. Stretches of time are set aside for the sake of building leads, although Uzva never venture far or long from the written framework.

Uoma is magnificently performed, and aspects from both their chamber rock and jazz fusion styles have found their way here, although it's clear by this point that Uzva had declared their undying love for the latter. There is no doubt that Uzva's third album is the most challenging and layered thing they would ever produce. Even so, in spite of its technical accomplishments, I'm not hearing the same moments of near- cinematic beauty that defined y experience of Niittoaika. The compositions have given up some of their atmosphere for the sake of demonstrating skills we already knew Uzva were capable of. I have no doubt that some will see Uoma as the strongest offering by Uzva. I prefer the moderation and restrained arrangement of their second. If anything may be said to conclude an exploration of Uzva's striking (yet brief) discography, it's that they successfully managed to reinvent themselves with each new record. Regardless whether the changes were favourable enough, that is a feat in itself.

Report this review (#1348587)
Posted Monday, January 19, 2015 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
4 stars Over 71 minutes of wonderful folk-tinged instrumental jazz fusion from this seven-member jam band (and a whole mess of guests) from Finland. Throughout the album I enjoy the electric instruments like the bass and guitar as well as the drum kit drumming, but it is the traditional folk and classical instrumentation that really love: harp, violin and strings, xylophone, marimba and other hand percussions, flutes, and other woodwinds (sax, bassoon, clarinet). I also seem to enjoy the slower parts best--even though the album never gets going at break-neck speeds, they just have a brilliant way of magnifying the weave of melodies during the slower sections.

Album highlights include: the album's gorgeously scored opening suite, "Kuoriutuminen," Parts 1, 2 & 3 (10/10); the wonderfully Japanese-flavored suite, "Vesikko" (23:02) (10/10); 7. "Arabian Ran-ta" (10:00) with its wonderful shift at the 3:50 mark (9/10); the stepped down beauty of "Chinese Daydream, Part 1" (3:12) and then the shift into a higher gear for the brass-dominated "Part 2" (5:43) (8/10); the brassy, American jazz rock sounding, 4. "Different Realities" (11:14) (8/10), and; the pretty, if simple, harp-based, 11. "Lullaby" (4:22) (8/10).

There's a lot of music here, but it is all quite enjoyable and some of it compositionally masterful. Watching their live performances on YouTube I appreciate even more the jazz nature of these beautiful songs.

Report this review (#1612946)
Posted Tuesday, September 20, 2016 | Review Permalink
Mellotron Storm
4 stars UZVA are a seven piece band out of Finland and this is their third and final album and in my opinion their best. Zappa did come to mind at times but this really is the sound UZVA has worked towards from their beginnings. We get some guests adding violins, cello, harp, bassoon and drums. The main band offers up a plethora of instrumental sounds including marimba, percussions, vibes, sax, flute, bass clarinet and clarinet. I thought at first there was no keyboards but then saw that we get piano on tracks 5 and 6 only surprisingly. Talk about going out on a high though, without question this recording needs to be mentioned with the best albums coming out of Finland.

Seven tracks over almost 72 minutes but out of these we get a three track suite that opens the album, a two track suite and then another three piece suite late. I like what Sean Trane says about this one as being more electric and jazzier than the previous two, in other words right up my alley. Highlight has to be the last part of that late three track suite called "Vesikko". It's the longest tune at almost 13 minutes on it's own, add another ten minutes for the first two parts of this suite. This track features some incredible guitar work that is almost surprising given the way the record sounds previous. So moving and it's hard to find the words to be honest. This really is a feast for the ears this album. Released in 2006 this was a breath of fresh air no doubt.

Report this review (#2507609)
Posted Sunday, February 21, 2021 | Review Permalink

UZVA Uoma ratings only

chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of UZVA Uoma

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.