The memory is a fickle feature of the human constitution. However, there’s no denying facts and the verifiable passage of time. It may seem like yesterday but saxophonist Timo Lassy and drummer Teppo Mäkynen actually arrived on the Finnish jazz scene a good two decades ago.
The tipoff happened with the Five Corners Quintet. A sample-based project became a runaway hit on the Helsinki club scene and before anyone could say “Make Soul Jazz Great again”, all pandemonium broke loose. British DJ superstar Gilles Peterson latched on to the phenomenon and all of a sudden there was a demand for a flesh-and-blood performing unit – even internationally.
Mäkynen rose to the challenge rounding up a group which featured e.g. saxophone giant Eero Koivistoinen. Along the way, the legend was replaced by Timo Lassy, fresh off the group of “young lions” known as the U-Street All Stars. Before disbanding in 2010, the Five Corners Quintet released e.g. two studio albums.
And here we are, a lifetime away from that halcyon era. After accumulating mounds of experience with various line-ups, Lassy and Mäkynen have joined forces in duo form. More vibrant and adventurous than their 2019 debut offering, this live release covers more ground. Lassy makes good use of the harmonic freedom warranted by his status as the only melody instrument in this little big band. All the while, Mäkynen manipulates the beat every which way he can. The delicate interplay flourishes on the tetchy and heavy groove of Zomp, the hypnotic pulse of Kobi and the polyrhythmic drive of Telemagenta. Live Recordings 2019–2020 is a slam dunk of restrained energy and vivid communication.
TIMO LASSY & TEPPO MÄKYNEN: Live Recordings 2019–2020
We Jazz Records