Reviews that mention Juhani Aaltonen

November 21, 2020

Aaltonen/Kullhammar/Heikenheimo/Meaas Svendsen

The Father the Sons and the Junnu
Moserobie Music Productions MMP CD 124

Appropriately low-key since one quartet member is nearly 85, The Father the Sons and the Junnu is the Scandinavian Jazz equivalent of the 1969 Muddy Waters/Paul Butterfield Fathers and Sons LP. Except this time instead of younger interpreters playing familiar material with their forefathers, this cultivated disc features new compositions from each participant interpreted in a mutually satisfying fashion.

One of the doyens of the Nordic scene, tenor saxophonist/flutist Johan Aaltonen (b. 1935), has worked with everyone from Reggie Workman to Edward Visalia. Swedish tenor and baritone saxophonist Jonas Kullhammar (b. 1978), leads his own groups and works with the likes of Torbjörn Zetterberg. Meanwhile Finnish drummer Ilmari Heikinheimo and Norwegian bassist Christian Meaas Svendsen, both born in 1988, and play with leaders such as Paal Nilssen-Love and Raoul Björkenheim are fully integrated into the program, This is obvious on the bassist’s “The Sun” which gives the drummer ample space to demonstrate his uniquely tuned drums whose stretched clips and vibrating crunches suggest non-European tropes. Meantime the drummer’s “Sorrow Wave” is a Meaas Svendsen showcase with modulated and balanced arco scrubs leading to measured but thick string strums that backed by cymbal sizzles, presage both saxophonists’ propelling doits, spetrofluctuation and irregular vibrations. MORE