For most of us, Teppo Mäkynen appears as a stylish time keeper. Especially revered for his effortless and subdued grooves echoing the heyday of hardbop, he has been decorated with the Finnish equivalent of the Jazz Grammy and numerous other awards. Throughout the years, the 45-year old man’s exquisite touch has propelled bands by pianist Aki Rissanen, saxophonist Timo Lassy, trumpeters Verneri Pohjola and Jukka Eskola, to name but a few.
On his own as a bandleader, Mäkynen is a completely different animal. Constantly looking for the sweet spot where a rough sketch turns into something concrete, Mäkynen is all about moods and the subtle shifts in between them. In this capacity, he is much more a post-modern conceptualist than a traditional composer.
Mäkynen is accompanied on this trip by bass player Antti Lötjönen and saxophonist Jussi Kannaste, both hardworking journeymen of Finnish jazz and weathered bandleaders themselves. On the surface, this line-up looks like the most basic group in its genre, the mother of all jazz combos, but the underlying truth about 3TM is something else.
Armed with samplers and other electronics, Mäkynen feeds his team thematic stimuli and then records, cuts and rearranges the outcome. Manipulating something already manipulated. Just like he used to do in his youth as ”Teddy Rok” when producing hip hop artists. The 3TM exploration began three years ago with the cut-up cornucopia of Form and continues now with the experimental and meditative Lake. The new disc comes paired with its September ”prequel”, the otherworldly Abyss.
3TM: Lake + Abyss
Teppo Mäkynen: drums & sounds
Jussi Kannaste: tenor sax
Antti Lötjönen: bass
We Jazz Records, 2019