Saturday, July 30, 2016

FINLAND: The World seen from Finland: Orient Express – Kokko Quartet’s new album out on Aug 19th

Kokko Quartet will release their second album Orient Express in August 2016.

The album continues on the road paved by their first album Like A River (2013) - the sound of the Scandinavian jazz landscape combined elegantly with global ingredients. With a diverse range of musical influences and instruments, Orient Express tells many stories from the past and present reaching out to the orient. It also dives deep into the legends and myths of the Finnish national epic Kalevala (as the band’s name Kokko suggests). Closing your eyes you will find yourself in a world where camels amble through the desert yet suddenly the orient express honks its two-voiced horn in the dark tropical night. You can also hear the Kalevala characters ’smith’ Ilmarinen hammering and ’water spirit’ Vellamo working on her magic – just like in mythical times.

Kokko Quartet

Kaisa Siirala, saxophones and flutes
Johanna Pitkänen, piano and keys
Timo Tuppurainen, bass
Risto Takala, drums
Established in 2010 and based in Helsinki, the group plays recognizably Scandinavian jazz but draws influences from Indian and Arabic music as well as Cuban rhythms, thus creating a distinctive overall sound. Kokko Quartet performs songs written by pianist Johanna Pitkänen, saxophone player Kaisa Siirala and bass player Timo Tuppurainen. Together with drummer Risto Takala, these four musicians share an interest in free expression, jazz and world music. Intuitively, they move through the music with a spirit of great freedom in their interplay. The group’s debut album Like a River was released in March 2013. It was well received by both the national and the international press. Kokko Quartet was invited to play a showcase in Jazzahead! 2013 and since then they have played at major jazz festivals including Bohemia Jazz in The Czech Republic and Pori Jazz in Finland. In December 2015 they played a major tour of Australia.
“…The music flows gently and smoothly, breaking boundaries between different musical genres. In a sensuous and subtle way, elements of jazz unite the Scandinavian well as Indian, Arabic and Cuban atmosphere…”
- Osku Rajala/Jazzrytmit, a Finnish Jazz Magazine

”The World seen from Finland”
-Eric Pozza/Canberra Jazz Blog
14.8.2016 Flow Festival, Helsinki
17.8.2016 Juttutupa, Rytmihäiriöklubi, Helsinki
16.9.2016 Ravintola Kairo, Kotka
20.9.2016 JazzAnti, Ravintola Laulumiehet, Helsinki
15.12.2016 Ylioppilasteatteri, Tampere


Review copies:
Tapio Ylinen / Eclipse Music

Physical Distribution (Finland):
Supersounds Music