Stunts like playing 24 gigs in a day, switching instruments in mid-song and honking on duck calls earned ‘punk-jazz’ trio Mopo a wacky reputation. Eight years and four albums on, Mopo has matured – without losing their sense of humour.
Mopocalypse marks the full emergence of a mighty saxophonist-composer matched by a strong, inventive rhythm section. Linda Fredriksson’s brawling sax attack on “Tökkö” blasts away any preconceptions about women in jazz – or about acoustic bassists as shrinking violets. Eero Tikkanen slams the double bass here, crossing to electric bass and violin elsewhere, while drummer Eeti Nieminen ably expands to synth and percussion.
Fredriksson wrote most of the tunes, including Mopo’s most emotionally gripping ballad, “Sinut muistan ainiaan”, while Nieminen penned the searching “Panama”. The only cover is a poignant Swedish folk ballad, “Var det du” (under its Finnish name “Niin aikaisin”), which extends the tradition of Jan Johansson’s classic Jazz på svenska – spare and affecting.
Linda Fredriksson, baritone and alto saxophone
Eero Tikkanen, double and electric bass
Eeti Nieminen, drums and percussion
We Jazz WJLP07
Mopocalypse will be released on 26 January 2018 in Finland, and on 23 February worldwide. More info here.
Correction made in the article (15 Dec 13:20): "Panama" has been written by Eeti Nieminen, not by Fredriksson.