As expected, the Finnish-American jazz guitar hero does not brake a whole lot on eCsTaSy’s Out of the Blue. Raoul Björkenheim and his cohorts, Pauli Lyytinen (saxophones), Jori Huhtala (double bass) and Markku Ounaskari (drums), make sharp turns but never miss a corner.
The music is full of sprit and imagination, ranging stylistically from freefall to disciplined but personal, straight-ahead ensemble play. Quintrille swings hard, and yes, in five, with both Björkenheim and Lyytinen screaming out loud. Besides saxes of the usual sizes, Lyytinen also plays bass saxophone and ney (an ancient flute) on the album. A Fly in the House of Love is solemn and crepuscular in a slightly dusty way, while Uptown catches all the excitement of an unruly urban scene.
All friends of Björkenheim’s vast catalogue should find this record very satisfactory and well up to his high standards.
Cuneiform Rune 413