Timo Lassy’s fifth album finds Lassy and the usual suspects – Abdissa “Mamba” Assefa (percussion), Teppo Mäkynen (drums), Georgios Kontrafouris (electric piano and organ) and Antti Lötjönen (bass) – in excellent form. Indeed, it is hard to imagine how Lassy’s quintet could sound any tighter or exuberant as they deliver their well-honed blend of soul jazz, hard bop and Latin jazz. Tunes like “Green Pepper Strut”, ”We Jazz Theme” and the almost criminally short “Fast Fabio” are hand-clapping, finger-popping dance floor burners that will undoubtedly please new and old fans alike.
Perhaps even more impressive is the inclusion of several compositions which illustrate that Lassy and co. are equally at home playing at more subdued (yet no less engaging) tempos. The title-track, “Love Bullet”, seduces as dreamy vibraphone work (provided by Panu Savolainen) accompanies Lassy’s breathy melodies, while “Stay Close” acts as an excellent showcase for Kontrafouris, who takes the opportunity to deliver a near-hypnotic, bluesy performance. The penultimate track “Undecided”, with its welcome inclusion of trumpeter Jukka Eskola, conjures up a cinematic atmosphere (perhaps not surprising in light of Lassy’s recent forays into composing for film) that recalls some of the CTI-era Freddie Hubbard recordings.
TIMO LASSY: Love Bullet
Must Have Jazz 234019
Timo Lassy (& band) is performing at the 25th anniversary celebration of a renown jazz magazine Jazz thing at Club Bahnhof Ehrenfeld on 30 September, 2018. On 1 October Lassy and drummer Teppo Mäkynen play as a duo at Kantine am Berghain in Berlin.