Thursday, October 13, 2016

Jukka Linkola Octet - 1979 - Protofunk

Jukka Linkola Octet 

01. Protofunk 6:15
02. Morning Song 5:21
03. Discantus 6:08
04. Smash 7:00
05. Dithyrambos 1 6:05
06. Dithyrambos 2 6:35
07. Dithyrambos 3 5:04
08. Athmos 5:46

Bass – Ilkka Hanski
Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone, Tenor Saxophone – Teemu Salminen
Drums – Jukka-Pekka Uotila
Flute, Flute [Alto], Alto Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Piccolo Flute – Pentti Lahti
Keyboards, Composed By, Arranged By – Jukka Linkola
Percussion – Upi Sorvali
Trombone, Tuba, Horn [Baritone], Flugelhorn, Recorded By – Tom Bildo
Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Esko Heikkinen

Recorded at Finnvox Studios, Helsinki, June and August 1979

I must repeat how lucky I am to have such friends spread widely over the world, who can introduce me to artists and recordings I would be utterly unfamiliar with were it not for them.
It's impossible to keep on top of what we are trying to do: resuscitate the lost musical treasures from the past decades of rock history, from all over the world.  So I am eternally grateful that there are others to help me who will send material they find that is extraordinary and worth hearing.  This is a labor of love from beginning to end.  Also a labor of time, which I have in short supply, unlike the love for music, which I have in endless supply.  And um, love for my wife which is even more limitless.  .

This particular record-- is just incredible, He created it when he was only 21!

Here you will find some amazing fusion, chamber composition, intensity and energy, coming from the genius composer's hand.  The whole album uses an ancient Greek theme, although it's entirely instrumental, with such references as dithyrambos (a style of poem) and athmos (I remember from Univ. it means breath or soul, because it's the cognate of Indian or sanskrit atman and French 'ame', in fact, the English word breath probably derives from the first part of atman.  I read in a recent review article that there is still fierce disagreement, even though molecular genetics and new statistical analyses were hoping to clear up the issue, about who those Indo-Europeans were, who spread their language over all of Europe and half of Asia about 5000-8000 years ago.)

Notice in the discography he made two other albums with this lineup, one called "Lady in Green" in 1982 and another called "Scat Suite" from 1983 which I have heard, and I can relate to you that it is far more jazzy and far less satisfying, as you'd expect, for by this time fusion was on the way out all over the world.

When you have a look at the man's biography and discography (sans octet), you can see he was quite prolific. The album he made in 1980 with Otto Donner is highly recommended for the progressive fan, being similar almost to a weaker Samla Mammas Manna album.  It's called "Kuinka Myöhään Valvoo Blues?"

As a sample track I will present to you the first, Proto-Funk, which is a perfect representative of the remainder.  Sit back, turn it up loud, and think of how happy and beautiful the musical world was back then-- 35 years in the past, half a lifetime ago, and thank my friend, who knew enough to introduce us to this lost album.

From the back, I will reproduce most of the blurb:

This album is long overdue.  Jukka Linkola Octet, the little big band of comtemporary jazz, has paid its dues.  The group received particular attention at the Pori Jazz Festival 1978, where the Octet played engagingly both by itself and together with several internationally established musicians in the heated jam-sessions of the festival.

And now here is the first album of the JLO, filled with fire and sensitivity seldom heard even in live appearances.  Just listen to the intense but controlled power of the opening selection PROTOFUNK, the misty awakening optimistic rise of MORNING SONG, and the variable rhythms and moods of the DITHYRAMBOS suite.

As a composer, Linkola has been compared to Chick Corea.  Though there are similarities, this music is pure Linkola consisting of material whose originator knows his musicians and their abilities perfectly.  Do I dare compare him to Duke Ellington?  Anyway Linkola sure knows how to use the innumerable possibilities of sound combinations offered by his multitalened reed and brassmen...

by Jaakko Tahkolahti

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