Guitarist Sami Linna (born 1974) is an out-and-out pro since many years, still, this album is his debut as a leader.
Linna’s record can be conceived as a kind of road map to the groovy jazz styles of the 60s. But even if the roads are the same as before, the paving is better and lanes broader.
The pentatonics in Black Mountain evokes organist Larry Young’s records, the half-abstract fast blues Umoya is reminiscent of Wayne Shorter’s and Miles Davis’ works, while Mode for Tomorrow puts the listener in a sixties time-machine operated by John Coltrane. But there’s also a good bit of straight forward, happy, boogaloo flavored blowing, like in Clowns. The album features Henry Mancini’s sweet gem Dreamsville, as the other compositions are by drummer Dana Hall or Linna.
Hall gives the music a momentum that is both loose and tight at the same time. The American drummer has performed with many major names in jazz; Betty Carter, Horace Silver, Michael Brecker, and Branford Marsalis are only a few in a long list.
With the organ of Mikko Helevä and sax of Jussi Kannaste in mind, this album is warm but hot!
SAMI LINNA QUARTET
Sami Linna, guitar
Dana Hall, drums
Jussi Kannaste, tenor sax
Mikko Helevä, Hammond organ
Timmion TRCD 12008