Verneri Pohjola – Pekka (2017)
FLAC (tracks) 24 bit/44,1 kHz | Time – 1:04:26 minutes | 391 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Masters, Official Digital Download – Source: HDTracks | Front Cover | © Edition Records
“Pekka” is the new, epochal album in Finnish trumpeter/composer Verneri Pohjola’s already illustrious and prolific career. An album that promises to be a defining moment in Finnish culture, “Pekka” reinterprets the music of Verneri’s late father Pekka Pohjola, the internationally acclaimed and revered prog-rock bassist and composer, through the prism of his son’s unique vision. “Pekka” is one of the most anticipated albums to emerge from the Finnish progressive, rock and jazz scenes for some time. Seeking to combine Pekka’s music, adored in Finland and internationally during the last four decades, with Verneri’s powerful sense of music making, “Pekka” is an album that will excite, inspire and move many fans across borders, generations and genres.
Approaching his 40th birthday, Verneri is in his musical prime. With an undeniably unique trumpet sound and a gift for blending raw emotion, technical finesse and control and with an ear adept at finding the middle way between accessibility and the avant-garde, he has developed an impressive profile in his home country and internationally as a leading European jazz performer, bandleader and composer.
Born into a Finnish musical dynasty, Verneri was destined for a musician’s life. His grandfather, Ensti Pohjola, was a well respected and highly active amateur conductor and cellist and his father’s cousin is the conductor Sakari Oramo. His father, Pekka Pohjola, climbed to international fame in the 1970’s playing with Finnish prog group Wigwam and leading his own groups in the progressive rock, rock and jazz scenes.
In 2008, aged 56, Pekka Pohjola passed away leaving behind an extensive catalogue of music and a dedicated international fanbase: a void and a vital legacy in the Finnish music scene. The impact of his work and his fame on him as family man and father was more problematic. Leaving the family home to embark on years of touring, recording and composition, Pekka had intermittent contact with the young Verneri and his brother Ilmari (now a trombonist with Edition group Oddarrang). To them he must have seemed a distant father as well as legendary bassist.
With Pekka’s passing, there has been huge anticipation from fans and media, particularly in Finland, that Verneri would perform his father’s music. Finally, following an invitation from friend and mentor Jukka Perko to appear at his festival Viapori in 2016, Verneri felt ready and comfortable to immerse himself in his legacy. Performing with Tuomo Prättälä on Fender Rhodes, Teemu Viinikainen (Guitar), Mika Kallio (Drums), Antti Lötjönen (Bass) he knew instantly that this was the right combination of musicians and instrumentation to make the album. He had the band and the inspiration. The moment was right at last.
Pekka is the album that the many fans of Verneri Pohjola, Pekka Pohjola and Wigwam have long waited for and will command huge attention and adoration from audiences not just in Finland, the UK (where Wigwam’s singles were released on Virgin) and the States (on Verve) but internationally as well.
01 – The Dragon of Kätkävaara
02 – First Morning
03 – Inke and Me
04 – Pinch
05 – Madness Subsides
06 – Benjamin
07 – Innocent Questions
Verneri Pohjola – trumpet
Tuomo Prättälä – Fender Rhodes
Teemu Viinikainen – guitar
Antti Lötjönen – bass
Mika Kallio – drums