Exposé Online banner

JPP — Artology
(NorthSide NSD6089, 2006, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2008-01-01

Artology Cover artJust when you thought you'd had enough of Nordic fiddles, along comes this little gem from Finland. I like Scandinavian folk music as much as the next guy — probably more, actually — though I'll admit to approaching burnout on the genre. But I forced myself to pop this one into the player, and found myself enjoying it quite a bit. Given their limited palette of four fiddles, a harmonium, and acoustic bass, they manage a surprising diversity of sound, mixing modern with traditional, Nordic with foreign, and energetic with reflective. They wisely draw from other traditions as well, including some American swing, a Middle Eastern sounding piece, and a tango, providing a Finn's eye view of music from other countries. Sometimes the arrangements mass the fiddles together for rousing unison melodies, while at other times they split apart for harmonies or more intricate counterpoints, and even include some uncharacteristic pizzicato work. If there's a flaw, it's that the four fiddles blend together so much that none of the players is left with an individual voice. But if that was music's sole virtue we wouldn't need symphony orchestras. All of the music is original, composed by Arto Järvelä, and it is testament to his talent and sensitivity that it all works so well. I wonder what would happen if he tackled a style even further afield, say RIO or zeuhl...

Filed under: New releases, Issue 35, 2006 releases

Related artist(s): JPP

Latest news

2018-07-31
Tomasz Stańko RIP – Tomasz Stańko, one of the greats of Eastern European jazz, has died at the age of 76. Stańko's career started in Krzysztof Komeda's quintet, where he contributed trumpet from 1963-1967, when he formed his own group. He worked extensively with Edward Vesala, Don Cherry, Zbigniew Seifert, Chico Freeman, Howard Johnson, Cecil Taylor, and many others. Many of his recordings have been released by ECM, an association that began in the mid-70s. » Read more

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Rick Wakeman - Past, Present and Future – At the outset, it would appear that reviewing three CDs of solo piano music from keyboardist Rick Wakeman would be a daunting task. While wrestling with the perception that the pianist can easily sit...  (2011) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues