For years Teddy Rok – that’s Teppo Mäkynen – has been smack in the middle of the Finnish jazz scene. He has been heard in such major acts as Timo Lassy Band, The Five Corners Quintet and Verneri Pohjola Quartet, to name but a few. On the new album this almost constantly smiling drummer (just check images on the net) explores West Coast traditions of jazz with his octet. Teddy’s West Coasters is crewed by musicians of different ages – from Jukka Perko (b. 1968) to Kasperi Sarikoski, two decades younger.
Mäkynen’s first-rate compositions alternate with some hand-picked standard tunes, such as “Love Is Here to Stay” or “For Dancers Only”. The title of Mäkynen’s “Those Summer Days” reveals all about that song. It’s relaxed and happy, but still full of movement and excellently swinging. Like a ride in a convertible. Preferably a Saab, because the music, while being traditional, isn’t completely stuck in the ’50s.
A real treat for drum buffs is, naturally, “Drums, For Example”. It consists of 13 impulsive short stories and poems in rhythm. Just natural for this literate drummer and composer, who is often inspired by literature.
Khy Suomen musiikki KHYCD070