Ten years ago, vocalist Emma Salokoski and Ilmiliekki Quartet recorded the acclaimed joint venture album Vi sålde våra hemman [We sold our homes] of Swedish and Finland-Swedish folk songs – music somewhat in the vein of Jan Johansson’s classic 60s album Jazz på svenska.
On the present album, new music by Salokoski, drummer Olavi Louhivuori, trumpeter Verneri Pohjola or pianist Tuomo Prättälä is paired with poetry by Swedish and Finnish authors, both famous and unknown, both old and contemporary.
The big question is whether new music written by jazz musicians can live up to the strong and natural traditional melodies of centuries ago? Fortunately, this is easy to answer in the affirmative. While the melodies appear timeless and uncomplicated, the performances are pure Ilmiliekki – that is, contemporary jazz with a Nordic twist. Ilmiliekki Quartet is, after all, the band in which bass player Antti Lötjönen played before joining Jeff ‘Tain’ Watts on tour, and where Louhivuori started prior to joining Tomasz Stanko’s group.
The album leaflet includes English and Finnish translations of the Swedish lyrics. Obviously, they are recommended reading.
EMMA SALOKOSKI & ILMILIEKKI QUARTET: Ligger du fortfarande i sängen!
Emma Salokoski (vocals)
Verneri Pohjola (trumpet)
Tuomo Prättälä (piano)
Antti Lötjönen (bass)
Olavi Louhivuori (drums)
2018 Svart Records SVART179CD