Taivaankansi – Skywire
JPP is an ensemble formed in the 1980s by an eager and inspired young generation of Kaustinen fiddlers. In 2015, JPP is still alive and kicking, and playing with as high quality as ever. They don’t play too often, but when they do there is a nice relaxed touch, and they don’t take it all too seriously. The Live in Duluth album was released in 2011, but we’ve been waiting almost ten years for a new studio album.
The sound is dominated by the strong fiddle section, but the key to the specific JPP sound is Timo Alakotila on harmonium. Alakotila can already be described as a legend, taking keyboards in Finnish folk music to a new level. His playing style is crucial to this band and has been an inspiration for almost everybody else in the business.
On this record JPP also take a further step towards including the next generation, featuring both Esko and Antti Järvelä (Frigg). JPP master the Kaustinen pelimanni tradition excellently but are open towards for example tango and blues. Timo Alakotila has his very personal style as composer, but for me the key tune is Arto Järvelä’s “P.H.” [dedicated to P.H. Nordgren] – a pelimanni tune with a nice twist of twirling melodies and an almost rocking groove. JPP is still top of the class!