7 Dec 2015

Eero Koivistoinen Quartet - Hati Hati [Full length] (2015, Svart Records)

Well-crafted jazz opus that speaks in colourful volumes of a great musical journey
Originally a student of music at both Sibelius Academy in Finland and Berklee College of Music in Boston, Eero Koivistoinen has remained a fixture in the Finnish jazz scene since the sixties, his first release being with the rock group Blues Section's first album of the same name in 1967. Since then the saxophonist has played with and composed for many musicians and band itterations. Already in 1972 did he enjoy international acclaim with his solo album "Wahoo!", but already as early as 1969 did his band at the time win the band competition at the legendary Montreux Jazz Festival. His extensive discography, over thirty albums at the time of writing, explores several different genres and subgenres, although jazz has always been his mainstay.

"The eight tracks found on the album elegantly but sternly speak of a lengthy career within the genre, both in terms of musicianship and composition."

Though Koivistoinen has shown a great interest in African music since the nineties, the clash between Scandinavian and African musical culture is absent on his latest record "Hati Hati", recorded with the Eero Koivistoinen Quartet. The eight tracks found on the album elegantly but sternly speak of a lengthy career within the genre, both in terms of musicianship and composition. Without drawing too many comparisons, the opening track in many ways mirror the sound of Miles Davis' modal masterpiece "So What", but this title track is among the more actively outgoing of the bunch. Later tracks like Moz or Relations are much more laid back and easy going, the latter in particular with its lengthy and voluminous bass section.

The organic fluctutations of the compositions seem entirely unpretentious and highly expressive. The deep felt expanses of the veteran's saxophone coupled with prominent piano playing provides an unusually pleasant and easy going atmosphere that brings to mind the many aspects of every day life, from the busy goings of a  metropolis to a sunny autumn afternoon. All these attributes come together to form a monumentally well-crafted and listenable jazz album. From the perspective of a selective jazz listener Eero Koivistoinen Quartet have committed a highly enjoyable and personal record, in this case presented on beautiful black vinyl. The group's warmth and the masterful interaction between the members are among the prime examples of what makes Hati Hati stand out. A solid 8/10 album.

1. Hati Hati
2. Seaside
3. Relations
4. Times They Are a-Changing
5. Moz
6. Things
7. Far North
8. Helium

Eero Koivistoinen official site
Svart Records official site

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