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Jupu Group - Ahmoo CD (album) cover


Jupu Group

Jazz Rock/Fusion

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3 stars Finnish fusion group, based around the violin playing of Juhani Poutanen. In spite of the heavy use of violin, the style reminds me less of Mahavishnu or Jean-Luc Ponty than it does Return to Forever or Weather Report. Very American sounding.

High point of the album is probably "Two for Eeva", which contains a mesmerizing, sawing violin hook throughout. Low point is definitely the title track, the bulk of which is made up of a simply interminable drum solo.

Report this review (#46377)
Posted Monday, September 12, 2005 | Review Permalink
Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Rare the only album from Finnish band "Jupu Group" . Recorded very in atmosphere of it's time (mid 70-s) , it demonstrates better than average jazz-rock fusion in the key of Return To Forever. Main difference is all music on this album is strongly based around electric violin sound. But if you can imagine Return To Forever combination with Jean Luc Ponty, or early Michal Urbaniak, you will understand , what this music is about.

Very competent in playing technique, the only album's problem is luck of compositional originality. You will hardly recognize the band's sound, but quite easy could mix it with one of great jazz fusion names of that time. What in fact is very big complement - unknown musicians' debut album is musically and technically strong enough to sound as music, played and recorded by greatest genre's musicians of the moment.

It's nice to note, that not only violin, but guitar and bass lines are very competent, and drumming is on the good level too. It's quite difficult to recommend this album, mostly because it is almost collectors rarity. If you find it by chance, and you like jazz-fusion from mid-70-s , than take it. Nothing too much outstanding, but really very good evidence of genre's golden age. But I don't think it worth to search it as special target .

My rating for this album is 3,5.

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Posted Saturday, April 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
4 stars Ahmoo (the word means nothing, I think) is the sole album by a Finnish fusion sextet, recorded in August/September 1975. It hasn't yet appeared on CD, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Rocket Records to do the job anyday.

The first two tracks are much funkier than I expected, giving the lead role to Janne Louhivuori's electric guitar. 'The Seeker' is written by drummer Upi Sorvali and 'Ennystymätön' - another nonsense word! - , with its groove reminiscent of Stevie Wonder's 'Superstition', by violinist Juhani Poutanen. The 10- minute title track is quite different: a serene and a bit aimlessly wandering arty-farty focusing on piano and percussion. The A side is a disappointment for me as I expected airy & melodic fusion in the style of Jean Luc Ponty (foir the presence of violin). Technically this group is excellent, however.

'Moment' (by Poutanen) finally features the awesome violin virtuosity. Especially this 8-minute highlight track is on the level of the American fusion of the time (Weather Report, Return To Forever...).The bassist Ilkka Hanski has composed 'Two for Eeva', which starts rather boringly with the bass taking the solistic role. Usually bass solos in jazz always bore me, by the way. Little by little the track grows to be more interesting, including various phases. I like the lively piano in it. The closing track 'Drops of Rain' (by keyboard player Jukka Linkola) begins quietly in a meditative manner, and it also remains very delicate and impressionistic, evoking images of soft summer rain.

Even though I was mildly disappointed at first, due to my own expectations, I believe this unique album is a grower, definitely it's full of original and fine musicianship.

Report this review (#1162199)
Posted Thursday, April 17, 2014 | Review Permalink

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