Through a pure sound combined with the ability to handle different branches of music, always with a fresh, well-mastered language, this album further confirms the soundness of the Big Blue project, that sets out from the traditional landscape of Nordic sound to then explore new expressive modes.
A square rhythmic pattern that suggests rock and supports Kalevi Louhivuori’s trumpet: that’s how “Shooting Star”, the latest album by Big Blue, begins. This is the Finnish quartet’s third recording on CAM JAZZ (the first was Big Blue on Cam Jazz Presents) or, rather, the fourth if one also considers the side project “Little Blue”. Once again, this album consists solely of original tracks, confirming the four band-mates’ gift for ranging from the refined vibes of Nordic jazz to more quick-paced, pressing moods. Louhivuori’s trumpet is often at the forefront, supported by Antti Kujanpää on piano, Jori Huhtala on bass and Joonas Leppänen on drums. Kujanpää is the only one who has not contributed compositions here, while the other three band members wrote all the tracks in more or less equal measure. Since the opening of “Mountain Man” great care is revealed in searching for unique, distinctive sounds that give rise to a clear-cut sonic brand. The offbeat, tense rhythms in “Mustique” preface the calm in “Corales”, a gentle ballad by Louhivuori, who also wrote the hypnotic “Artificial Rainbow”. “You Of All People” and “Willful Ignorance”, both by Huhtala, convey the listener into a collective closing piece, the only one the quartet chose to mark as made by Big Blue: soft, evocative, with electronically filtered instruments delivering suspended, dream states. Through a pure sound combined with the ability to handle different branches of music, always with a fresh, well-mastered language, this album further confirms the soundness of the Big Blue project, that sets out from the traditional landscape of Nordic sound to then explore new expressive modes. The Blue Band quartet, with its continuous commitment to excellent, captivating music, should be followed attentively over time.
Recorded in Hollola on 10, 11 September 2015 at Studio Petrax Mixed in Helsinki on 5, 6 October 2015 at Junkroom Recording & mixing engineer Abdissa Mamba Assefa
Photos by Andrea Boccalini
|Catalogue Number||CAMJ 7897-5|
|Display Artist||Big Blue|
|Release date||Apr 1, 2016|
|Product type||full album|