Despite the fact that he is just about to star in his first solo effort, trumpet player Verneri Pohjola is not a newcomer to the vivid Finnish jazz scene. Released by Texicalli Records in February 2009, "Aurora" is evidence enough that artists who get the necessary time to grow, deliver the best of debut albums.

The past couple of years have seen Pohjola's name pop up often just where it should have done. The project's featuring the skills of the young trumpetist include Ilmiliekki Quartet, one of the internationally most successful Finnish jazz ensembles, the ECM recording Iro Haarla Quintet, "Agatha", a best-selling album collaboration between Pohjola, Finland's premier big band UMO, and composer Kerkko Koskinen, to name but a few. Pohjola has also recently toured with his critically acclaimed Miles Davis tribute project featuring the cream of the crop of the young Finnish jazz players, featured in top ranking soul vocalist Tuomo's live ensemble, and recorded an experimental album with drummer Joonas Riippa for Aeon/Ilma Records.

Thus, we introduce Verneri Pohjola, the solo artist, with both great pleasure and high expectations. His debut album, "Aurora", is not put together with an entirely common recipe. That is, the album presents the leader of the session neither with a set combo, nor a solo studio setting so common these days. Instead, the album is a collection of eight pieces, each of which carry with them their own musical narrative. The collective of artists on this albums are each on top of their game, and each composition is met with a different instrumentation conducted by Pohjola to best fit the mood he is after.

No matter how you look at it, the array of instrumentalists making "Aurora" happen are first rate. The representatives of the strong young voice in Finnish jazz, Aki Rissanen, Antti Lötjönen, Joonas Riippa, Olavi Louhivuori, Ilmari Pohjola, Ville Herrala, and Mika Kallio, are all perhaps not yet household names on the international jazz circuit, but are nevertheless already making big waves nationally in various highly rated ensembles. Juhani Aaltonen, Pepa Päivinen, and the late, also internationally noted jazz great, bassist Pekka Pohjola, represent the history of jazz music in Finland and each bring their strong visions to meet with that of Verneri Pohjola's. The string section on the album is Meta4, an ensemble noted on their own as one of Europe's finest.

The pieces on the album penned by Verneri Pohjola breathe with remarkable ease. The opener, ‘Akvavit', is an ample example of what is about to follow. Pohjola's tone is breezy and meditative. He fills the sonic canvas without excessive force, travels with just enough musical hand-luggage at all times, and employs the larger orchestra where necessary. The themes build up slowly and there is space within the diverse compositions.

The underlying and unifying texture comes courtesy of Pohjola's uncanny vision to make the most of the compositions and the exquisite wealth of instrumental skill available.

All in all, "Aurora" is a very ambitious effort for a debut. No wonder, then, that this music is created by a musician who can already boast a CV many a contemporary jazzman would be proud of as such.

Lue lisää: http://www.myspace.com/verneripohjola

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