Friday 24 February 2023

Posted by Gerry Hectic | File under : , , ,

For some reason, the second Quintet East album on We Jazz Records sounds even more 60s New York than the elite of the jazz scene Don Cherry/Ornette Coleman/Albert Ayler et al.

Lead by bassist Antti Lötjönen with Verneri “'the Miles Davis of the north”  Pohjola (trumpet), Mikko Innanen and Jussi Kannaste (saxes) and Joonas Riippa (drums) we're talking the top ranked Helsinki jazzers.

The title track, 'Circus/Citadel' comes in three parts. Inspired by a poem by the Romanian-born German-language poet Paul Celan (1920–1970) this explores the idea of “circus” and “citadel” in this confused world we find ourselves in. 

Part II has a jocular circus element in it which is not always evident in the avant-garde jazz genre before Part III gets a bit more experimental without going the full clown; perhaps closer to the Art Ensemble of Chicago at their best.

These 'themes' continue in the other tracks where you can get part melody's from nursery rhythms to hard bop swing; particularly 'Defenestration' – pop goes the weasel as they say.

Alyer's military period gave him a feel of the marching bands which he like to use in the funeral march blues and these guys also dip their musical toes in this citadel on '(for) Better People' which could be a homage and 'It Goes On' that showcases Antti's bass playing.

That said, this is a proper Quintet set of tracks and very We Jazz.

And if you happen to be in Helsinki this summer don't forget the Odysseus Festival on 21-23 July that will include many of your We Jazz favourite acts including the Valtteri Laurell Nonet!

Antti Lötjönen Quintet East LIVE
27.4. April Jazz Festival, Espoo FI (album release gig)
21.7. Odysseus Festival, Helsinki FI

Artist: Antti Lötjönen's Quintet East 

Title: Circus/Citadel

Release date: 24th February, 2023

Label : We Jazz Records

Catalog Number : WJLP44 / CD / Digital / Bandcamp 


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