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The Group

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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3 stars This is the only album by The Group, a Finnish jazz-rock/fusion quartet with established members. Bassist-composer Pekka Pohjola (formerly of WIGWAM) and drummer Vesa Aaltonen (TASAVALLAN PRESIDENTTI) had played in MADE IN SWEDEN just before this formation. Keyboardist-composer Olli Ahvenlahti had a history in jazz scene, and the guitarist Seppo Tyni was the youngest of them.

The music is closer to jazz than rock. But it's not so lively in a jazzy way; the longish compositions have a lot of repetitiveness and the melodies are not very good ones. I could almost say it's a bit boring album, as "professional" and well-done as it is. Pekka Pohjola definitely composes better music by himself than together with Ahvenlahti. After two listenings I don't remember much of anything of this music; it didn't touch my feelings really. Not that there were any bad, irritating things, maybe it just was too surpriseless and safe. For example guitar playing is more or less in the same style throughout the album, and on the keyboards there aren't much variety either. Anyway I wish someone here have enjoyed this more than I did and writes a more favourable and detailed review.

Report this review (#134004)
Posted Tuesday, August 21, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars The Group was an obscure finish progressive/jazz rock band from late '70s, but with established musicians in this field. The band released only one album in 1978 self titled and then gone into oblivion under this name, because the musicians involved here minus Olli Ahvenlahti will go to Pekka Pohjola Group. As I said some very solid and skilful musicians here like ex Wigwam, Made In Sweden - Pekka Pohjola who was at the time an already proeminet bass player both under his name or with those bands, drumer Vesa Aaltonen ex-Tasavallan Presidentti another great band from Finland from early 70, guitarist Seppo Tyni from prog/psych Elonkorjuu and keybordist Olli Ahvenlahti from Uni Sono and solo aswell, so in the end a super group. The music featured here, I can't say is groundbreaking but is pleasent, well made. The jazz elements are well combned with the progressive ones, it sounds like a cross between Return To Forever and solo work of Pohjola, even his tradmark elements are not so present here, this is a group efford indeed as the name of the band suggested. The shorter pieces are the most intresting here with maybe Annapurna the longest one, because Ripple marks has some good but in same time some boring moments aswell, the piece to much time going nowhere in musical terms. All in all a decent album, nothing over the top, but fans of the genre might take some spins. 3 stars, maybe in places 3.5.

Report this review (#1133335)
Posted Tuesday, February 18, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars I have always perceived this album as another one by Pekka Pohjola, the legendary Finnish musician. The reality is that it is indeed a group effort by some of Finland's finest of that era. Sure, Pohjola contributes, but not in a dominant way.

The album is a somewhat lighter approach than what would have been expected. Not quite airy as in boring, but more like less dense in comparison. At times it reminds of Pat Metheny's works of the corresponding period, well if only as far as compositions are concerned. Still, it comes across as very European.

A rather relaxed and unforced play offers pleasant listening. Considering that at the time of it's release, international Jazz-Rock greats were getting tired, losing inspiration, The Group has made a good effort to keep things going and for that they deserve due recognition.

Report this review (#1201513)
Posted Tuesday, July 1, 2014 | Review Permalink
4 stars The finish music scene was a melting pot of highly talented musicians that performed in each other bands of were member of many of the bands that made an impact in the music scene during the 70's

The group was no exception, members from Uni Sono, Wigwam, TP, Made in Sweden.

Jazz rock and Fusion are genres that i explore deeply, and The Group delivered a fantastic album that will appeal to those that find the jazzier part of Pohjola interesting. We should not call the album groundbreaking and innovative, however the album is really good, showcasing the enormous talent the band had and making me wonder if they left some unreleased material laying around

The discovery of the Liisa archives already delivered few great albums, more expected, maybe we get lucky and have the opportunity to discover some unreleased recording.

Report this review (#1619530)
Posted Friday, October 7, 2016 | Review Permalink

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