Thursday, October 13, 2016

Jukka Hauru - 1972 - Information

Jukka Hauru 

01. Mai-Ling 6:16
02. Room 1972 1:52
03. Jamsession The Finnish Yes Federation's Skinheaded Board 1:33
04. No More Blues 6:55
05. Evil 6:08
06. Splitting 3:24
07. Information 4:35
08. Refilling Valve 3:40
09. What? 4:44
10. Waltz For The Straight Relatives 2:25

Bass – Heikki Virtanen (tracks: A1, B1 to B5), Tapani Tamminen (tracks: B5)
Double Bass – Tapani Tamminen (tracks: A3, A3, A5)
Drums – Reino Laine (tracks: A2 to B5), Tapani Ikonen (tracks: A1)
Guitar, Composed By, Arranged By, Producer – Jukka Hauru
Piano – Olli Ahvenlahti (tracks: A5)
Soprano Saxophone – Markku Marstela (tracks: A4), Sakari Kukko (tracks: A1)
Tenor Saxophone – Raimo Wallen (tracks: A1, A2, A4, B1 to B5)
Violin – Juhani Poutanen (tracks: A2, A5 to B5)
Vocals, Other [Initiations] – Matti Jakola (tracks: A3)

Recorded at Finnvox studios, Helsinki, July 1972.

Jukka Hauru is a forgotten figure in Finnish 70s rock, an artist long lost in the waves of Wigwam, Piirpauke and Pekka Pohjola albums that generally get the lion's share of attention. One of Hauru's albums was even released on the stalwart label of Finland, Love records. It's time to set the record straight. Hauru's debut, Information, was his prize moment. It's a guitar fan's paradise, a psychedelic rock album with some slight jazzy touches that includes wave after wave of Hendrix inspired soloing. Hauru is just absolutely brilliant, sort of the long lost brother of guitar sensation Jukka Tolonen. Riffing drums and bass set down tremendously dexterous performances over which Hauru wails like a madman, pushing the songs, from short to long, to tremendous heights. There is also a sense of humor prevalent on the album, as if Hauru didn't take himself so seriously - read titles like "Jam Session The Finnish Yes Federation's Skinheaded Board" and "Waltz for the Straight Relatives" (a piece heavily reminiscent of Flying Teapot-period Gong). But Information is not all about trio jams, although there are plenty here. Strings are brought in at times and there are also sax leads which help to break up the potential monotony of a guitar, bass and drums type of sound, interesting moments that add to the dynamic flow of the release, such as the piano piece on side 2. The way Hauru juxtaposes rather complicated ensemble sections with the free form, rocking jams works well to give the entirety a diverse flow. But in the end, it's Hauru's guitar show (as well as the less prevalent violin and sax solos), and he was just such a magnificent player, riffing at light speed over anything his backups throw at him. If you love good playing, this album is a no-brainer. Never was the intense riffing style of the earliest Mahavishnu so matched in energy. One of my favorite albums to come out of Finland... Get it!!!!