Teemu Viinikainen’s searching, supple guitar work was a key pleasure of trumpeter Verneri Pohjola’s 2017 album Pekka. Just before the Pekka sessions, the guitarist entered the studio with his new trio, Teemu Viinikainen III. The result is a more intimate, relaxed spell with Finland’s most sensitive jazz guitarist.
Viinikainen glows with sympathetic improvisational support from his sidemen. Drummer Joonas Riippa’s airy, subtle touch and Mikael Myrskog’s comfy Rhodes organ and Moog sounds create a suitably retro feel alongside Viinikainen’s 1945 wooden Gibson.
While rockier than his more acoustic recent albums, the set is warmer and more organic than its 2005 prequel, Tales of Robert Dickson, the guitarist’s debut. Since then, Viinikainen has honed his trademark sound, underpinned by the tasteful use of effects. His light touch on the delay, sustain and looping pedals creates a spacious, floating sound that triggers all kinds of pleasure synapses.
His writing, too, has strengthened. The hummable JS and III sound like new standards, while the achingly lovely Amoroso is a keeper for the ages.
TEEMU VIINIKAINEN III: Return of Robert Dickson
Teemu Viinikainen (guitar)
Mikael Myrskog (Rhodes and Moog)
Joonas Riippa (drums)
Eclipse Music ECD-201753