Born in New York, the multi-instrumentalist, composer, and arranger Roger Freundlich has lived in Finland since 1970. Among his teachers in the 60s were John Mehegan and Neal Hefti. In Finland, he has been working with several Big Bands.
On this late debut album, he does not play himself but has handpicked some of the country’s finer musicians to perform his tunes.
Cop City is a hard-swinging affair in the vein of the great hardbop masters, such as Art Blakey and Horace Silver. The songs are well written, and the performances exemplary.
The solos are plentiful but usually not that long. With six more or less uptempo numbers and two ballads, the servings are appropriate.
Calibration is the powerhouse of this album, with great solos, especially by Joonatan Rautio, with his warm-turning-hot saxophone sound.
While the music sticks to the tradition, the sound of the recording is contemporary. The album is a timeless delight for admirers of all things bop.
ROGER FREUNDLICH: Cop City — Eight Jazz Compositions by Roger Freundlich
Tero Saarti, trumpet
Joonatan Rautio, tenor saxophone
Markus Niittynen, piano
Ape Anttila, bass
Ville Pynssi, drums
Running Moose PRECD093