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Posts Tagged ‘Five Corners Quintet

eskola1

Scandinavia has been lately at the top of contemporary music, specially jazz. Many probably know Jukka Eskola from his work with Nuspirit Helsinki and Teddy Rok Seven. But his debut record from 2005 is more contemporary jazz than nu-jazz, therefore more heading for The Five Corners Quintet, where the trumpeter also participated. The first thing that catches the eye is the stylish Blue Note–flavoured artwork, which was brought back by Ricky Ticky, but is also followed by Free Agent Records, which released the album – both fantastic record labels.

It is clear that Eskola’s playing is influenced by Freddie Hubbard. This is also self-proclaimed by Eskola himself. If listening to “Buttercup”, one of the higlights of the record, it is very clear why Eskola is not denying that. The musicians on this album with beautiful bass and drums, saxos in that nice jazzy way are almost the same as the Five Corners Quintet liveset, but doesn´t mean you have to expect the same sound. Eskola’s debut is definitely promising. It includes a handful of excellent tracks and displays a bunch of young top-class musicians on the rise. Another hotshot from the vital Helsinki scene.

Duudamdej

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Urbanology is early, but I don´t think you´ll have a problem with it. Today a fine jazz record from The Five Corners Quintet from Helsinki, another proof for the thesis that Scandinavia is leading the way when it comes to jazz. The Quintet describes themself as a ” postmodern jazz outfit influenced by early sixties straight ahead and latin jazz. Led by producer Tuomas Kallio the Five Corners Quintet is a new extension of the highly acclaimed Nuspirit Helsinki collective.”

The FCQ released several EPs before this full length record and sales of those singles should quickly reach over 12,000, all singles and the record together sold more than 40.000 copies worldwide. Not bad for a jazz group in 2005, but “chasin´the Jazz gone by” even spent 11 weeks in the Finnish album Top-40 chart. What is the secret behind this success? The FCQ´s goal is

“to set an example of how dance floor friendly contemporary production can fruitfully meet the musical craftsmanship of the past, creating music that sounds as hip as the classic jazz records but is at the same time structurally polished and easily accessible music of today. Not housey nu-jazz, but jazz in the classic modernist spirit.”

And they reach this goal for sure, recorded a dense atmospheric jazz album, opened by the gorgeous voice of Okou with a graceful blues, followed up by vampy Bossa-grooves, 60ties soundtrack feeling and the incomparably jazz-singer Mark Murphy performs also on some songs.

Maybe also their mix of old and new musicians is the key to success. Young trumpet phenomenon Jukka Eskola, tenor sax Eero Koivistoinen (around since the sixties), drummer talent Teppo Makynen, Severi Pyysalo a Blue Note vibraphone veteran – in the studio the Five Corners Quintet “is a contemporary project dictated by producer Tuomas Kallio and gathering separately the right people for each song from a pool of musicians that are some of the finest players in the Finnish and international jazz scene.”

Can you expect more? Yeah, if you have the chance to see them live, take this chance – they´re awesome, the Devil kicks!


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