Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


photo: Marco Hakala
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photo: Marco Hakala
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photo: Marco Hakala
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In concert

Posters 2005-2014

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* Dave Foxall’s picks in the annual Critics’ poll in the January issue of Jazz Journal magazine

Jazz Journal, January 2015

* Anniversary concert reviewed in Aamulehti 13.1.2015

Aamulehti 13.1.2015

* BM 10 years anniversary concert at Telakka, Tampere on the 9th of January 2015 (Poster: Visa Knuuttila).

Design: Visa Knuuttila

* Jumehniemi re-released! CD version out on Kauriala Society label, distributed by Töölön Musiikkitukku.

* Yöstä aamun kynnykselle is now released in Germany, Austria and Switzerland by Nordic Notes. Distribution by Broken Silence.

* BM klubi 3 vuotta!
3 year anniversary program coming up in various locations in Tampere: 17.4
Telakka w/ Jari Hongisto (trombone), 7.5 Pietilä-sali w/ Seppo Kantonen (piano),
5.6 Telakka w/ Pekka Rechardt (guitar), 24.7 Huurupiilo w/ Paul Austerlitz (reeds)

Design: Visa Knuuttila

* BM & Verneri Pohjola concert review by Stuart Broomer in January 2014 issue of The New York City Jazz Record (We Jazz Festival, Helsinki 13.12.13)

The New York City Jazz Record, January 2014

* New album Yöstä aamun kynnykselle is now available on Lumpeela Julkaisut. Distribution in Scandinavia and Baltic countries by Playground Music.

*Vinyl re-issue of Vaarat Vastukset album is now available by Karkia Mistika and Nekorekords labels. Edition of 300 copies.

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Although mainly known as a drummer and a percussionist, Simo Laihonen also frequently expresses himself on flutes. Born in 1982 to Hämeenlinna and at first inspired by heavy rock skinsmen like John Bonham, he began taking drum lessons at the age of nine in Muurame, near the city of Jyväskylä.

In his early twenties, as Laihonen was already gravitating towards a freer approach and more specifically, the sound and style of Edward Vesala, the budding musician took part in a summer camp arranged by members of the Sound & Fury team at the late great drummer/composer’s residence and studio in Yläne in South Western Finland.

Tutored and encouraged by the likes of pianist/harpist Iro Haarla, saxophonist Jorma Tapio, bassist Ulf Krokfors, and most notably, drummer Tom Nekljudow, Simo’s beliefs became inured and he was ready to commence chasing his destiny as a jazz professional. In retrospect it seems clear how strong the Yläne experience must have been: Laihonen is nowadays regarded as one of the most original and important torch bearers of the Vesala idiom.

A decisive moment came in 2004 as the man moved to the city of Tampere and soon took his place among local like-minded artists such as composer/multi-instrumentalist Kusti Vuorinen and drummer Janne Tuomi. The rite of passage was smooth. In just a couple of years, Laihonen made himself a name as a multifaceted musician and an able arranger of concerts and events. His musical endeavours also span the fields of theater, dance and performance art.

Among the many friends made in the Northern Tavastia scene, the most important relationship was struck with saxophonist Sami Sippola and bassist Ville Rauhala, for it was with them Simo Laihonen went on to found the inimitable free jazz team Black Motor in January 2005.

In early 2012, as reedsman Jorma Tapio began reanimating his dormant group Kaski, Laihonen was recruited to man the skins. A year later, the Black Motor quota in the ranks grew as Rauhala replaced Tero Siitonen as the trio’s bassist.

Spring 2013 brought along excellent news for Simo Laihonen: Another important personal milestone was reached by accepting the invitation to join the legendary Sound & Fury as their drummer. An apt closing of one quite self-evident circle. In the Summer, Simo relocated temporarily to New York City to hone his skills with master drummers Andrew Cyrille and Milford Graves.

Work with Jorma Tapio continued in early 2015 on two projects: Kaski resumed recording their debut album and Sound & Fury arranged the Bread for Soul concert in Helsinki to commemorate the passing of Edward Vesala in late 1999. In April, Simo Laihonen arranged another trip to NYC to take private lessons from Graves with whom he last studied in January 2014.

Petri Silas, August 2015

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A native of Tampere since his early twenties, Ville Rauhala was born in the neighbouring rural municipality of Kangasala in 1976. He has taken double bass lessons at the Pirkanmaa Music Institute and studied ethnomusicology at the University of Tampere for a period of ten years at the turn of the Millennium.

One of his most long-standing collaborators is saxophonist Masa Orpana, another Kangasala-based musician and a prominent figure of the North Tavastia jazz and rhythm & blues scene. The men have performed and recorded together in line-ups such as Olmarin Unioni ever since the early 1990s.

Rauhala’s path to fully-fledged professional musicianship commenced in the mid-1990s in the ranks of various roots bands. Session dates and work with theater groups followed, word started to spread and gradually this versatile musician became the first-call double bass player of the entire Tampere region.

Over the years, Rauhala has worked with such top Finnish singers and songwriters as Pauli Hanhiniemi, Pate Mustajärvi and Janne Laurila. In addition, he has been featured in well-received music theater productions based on the lives and times of Finnish tango and schlager icons Unto Mononen and Olavi Virta.

Ville’s bold debut album Freedom – Eight Episodes came out in November 2010. This critically acclaimed disc consists of original solo bass works that chart the no-man’s land in between composition and improvisation.

As a composer, Rauhala is also documented on albums by saxophonist Masa Orpana (Brothers – Music of Rauhala, Tikanmäki & Vuorinen, 2010) and jazz groups like Olmarin Unioni (Olmarin Unioni, 2004 and Peaceful Means, 2005) and Rakka (Soutu, 2012 and Mykorritsan valtakunta, 2014).

A most important page was turned in January 2005 as Ville Rauhala co-founded the robust free jazz band Black Motor with saxophonist Sami Sippola and drummer Simo Laihonen.

2013 saw Rauhala appear in two new line-ups featuring comrades-in-arms from Black Motor. The rejuvenated edition of Jorma Tapio & Kaski consists of Rauhala, Laihonen and saxophonist/flautist Jorma Tapio. Hannibal & Musta Moottori, on the other hand, features Rauhala, Sippola, rapper Hannibal Stark and drummer Janne Tuomi.

And still in 2013, Ville Rauhala joined guitarist Raoul Björkenheim and drummer Ilmari Heikinheimo in the rough and ready improv group Raoul Björkenheim Triad.

In 2014, the bassist and composer began organizing and hosting his own ”Vapaalla jalalla” evenings of improvised music at Pub Huurupiilo in Tampere. Later on in the year, following Sippola’s amicable exit from Black Motor, Hannibal & Musta Moottori changed their name to Hannibal & Hot Heros. Apart from the original four-piece line-up, the band will also appear in the future as instrumental trio Hot Heros consisting of Ville Rauhala, Sami Sippola and Janne Tuomi. Their debut album Fill Up with the Old Time Salvation is coming out in early 2016.

Petri Silas, October 2015

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Born in 1963 to Turku and originally inspired by strong singers and frontmen like Chuck Berry, Elvis Presley and Louis Armstrong, Jouni ”Tane” Kannisto picked up the guitar at the age of twelve. A few years later and a switch to tenor horn already behind him, the budding musician commenced playing the alto saxophone. At the time, he was heavily influenced by Sonny Rollins and taking his first tentative steps towards a career in music with a brass band and a dance band.

Whilst still in high school, Kannisto started practicing on the flute and other woodwinds and joined the Turku Big Band. In his early twenties, as a student of the Turku Conservatory, he took part in one of the now-fabled summer camps organized by composer/drummer Edward Vesala. This move was preceded and partially initiated by befriending saxophonist Jorma Tapio who would go on to become a life-long colleague and friend. Originally Kannisto’s saxophone and flute teacher and mentor-of-sorts from 1982 onwards, Tapio introduced him to a more freer expression and giants such as Jan Garbarek and John Coltrane.

One thing led to another and in 1987 Kannisto was invited to join Vesala’s illustrious large ensemble Sound & Fury alongside Tapio, guitarist Raoul Björkenheim, pianist/harpist Iro Haarla and other likeminded, skilled and adventurous musicians. Tane was 24 years of age at the time and stayed with the group through the albums Ode To The Death Of Jazz (1989), Invisible Storm (1991) and Nordic Gallery (1994) as well as concert tours in Scandinavia, continental Europe and the Far East.

The bandleader’s untimely death in late 1999 abruptly halted all Sound & Fury operations but Kannisto has been actively involved in recent efforts to rekindle the flame – such as the 2013 ”comeback” album Pulsacion and subsequent live shows like the Edward Vesala memorial concert Bread for Soul in Helsinki in March 2015.

In the early-to-mid-1990s, Kannisto recorded and performed with various bands and more temporary projects led by celebrated songwriter Tuomari Nurmio, jazz guitarist Niklas Winter and Sound & Fury alumni Iro Haarla and Raoul Björkenheim. During this period he also worked arduously as a theater musician and briefly relocated to Paris, France in order to study instrument repair. Upon returning to Turku, Kannisto opened his own shop which he has been running since 1994.

In the more recent years, the saxophonist has led his own trio and performed as a member of the Turku Jazz Orchestra since 2012. A current labour-of-love is the acclaimed and highly popular ”Carola – maailmannainen” which opened in April 2015. Still performed to packed houses at the Turku City Theater, this show tells the story of beloved Finnish schlager and jazz singer Carola Standertskjöld (1941-97).

His careers as working musician and instrument repairsman aside, Tane Kannisto is also much in demand as a teacher of woodwinds both privately around the Southwest Coast of Finland and his old alma mater, the Turku Conservatory.

Petri Silas, March 2015

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Hailing from the costal town of Pori, Sami Sippola was born in 1971. He commenced playing the alto saxophone in his early teens both by jamming with local bands and by starting to learn the ropes at the Pori Conservatory. As the time of the mandatory military service arrived in 1990, he enrolled at a military band – all the while also honing his chops with various jazz and rock groups.

A move to Tampere in 1998 proved to be an important decision, as Sippola then became better acquainted with the city’s vibrant music scene known both for the easy-going camaraderie and the DIY mentality, especially prevalent in the jazz sector and personified in people like drummer Janne Tuomi, composer/multi-instrumentalist Kusti Vuorinen, saxophonist Masa Orpana and bass player Ville Rauhala.

At the turn of the Millennium, Sippola had become as much a mainstay of the North Tavastia scene as the aforementioned, and he was often heard perfoming alongside them. Apart from jazz and improv ensembles like Rauhala’s World Peace Orchestra, the saxophonist could frequently be found on stage and in the studio with groups ranging from blues to rock to folk and beyond.

Key recordings from this transition era, which also marked the switch from alto to tenor saxophone as the main tool of expression, are Jazzgangsters’ Peace (2005), Groovy Eyes’ Tube Radio Broadcast (2003), Kusti Vuorinen’s Suurin Onni (2005), and Masa Orpana’s Honky Tonk Man (2005).

Aside from working with many line-ups representing a vast array of styles and genres, Sippola has collaborated with theater and performance groups like Circus Absurdus and Flamma. In 2003, the saxophonist composed the music for Risto Blom’s prize-winning short film Huoneesta toiseen.

May 2005 became a very decisive point in time for it was then that Sami Sippola, bassist Ville Rauhala and drummer Simo Laihonen formed the industrious free jazz band Black Motor.

In early 2013, Sippola and Rauhala co-founded the new, immediately highly-tipped team Hannibal & Musta Moottori with rapper Hannibal Stark and drummer Janne Tuomi.

As an era came to an end in late 2014 with Sippola announcing his departure from Black Motor, Hannibal & Musta Moottori changed their name to Hannibal & Hot Heros. The group will continue to operate as a quartet with the original line-up and as the instrumental trio Hot Heros (Rauhala, Sippola, Tuomi).

Petri Silas, March 2015

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Categories: Uncategorized