Exposé Online banner

Juha Kujanpää Ensemble — Kultasiipi - Goldwing
(Eclipse Music ECD-201532, 2015, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-01-19

Kultasiipi - Goldwing Cover art

Juha Kujanpää’s debut album was one of the gems of 2013, a refreshing jewel of lovely arrangements and catchy melodies combining folk, jazz, rock, and classical styles seamlessly. Kivenpyörittäjä managed the trick of being beautiful without being sappy. Kujanpää is back now with an album very similar in sound to its predecessor. The ten tracks on Kultasiipi feature a base of keyboards and/or guitar augmented by what is essentially a chamber ensemble featuring strings, woodwinds, wordless vocals, and occasional percussion (sometimes a drum kit). The style is very similar to the previous album, though with “Kahvit Kuopiossa” we get a jaunty polka-like rhythm with banjo strumming. There is perhaps a greater attention given to the electric guitar this time out, mostly as a melodic voice, often doubled by a violin. On the upbeat tunes, the strings have a Vivaldi-like sweet energy melded with the energy of Scandinavian fiddle playing, but there are also quieter parts where piano and reed organ (sounding a bit like an accordion) take over in something like a sophisticated variation on New Age music. One of my favorite tracks is “Tapiirikuningas” (“Tapir King” in English), which features handclaps for its main rhythmic part and has synthesizers integrated into the ensemble with the strings. Its melody is handled at times by the electric guitar and it resembles a very creatively arranged folk dance. Kujanpää’s orchestrations generally treat all the parts equally, not as a lead instrument backed by an ensemble, and certainly not as a one-man-band who’s expanded his influence. Kultasiipi is an incremental development of Kujanpää’s style, not a departure, and while it is a very enjoyable listen, I have to wonder if now it’s time to bring even something different, whether it be modern electronics, harmonic expansion into more dissonant sounds, or further variety in instrumentation. But it’s a lovely diversion, and almost never fails to bring a smile to my face.


Filed under: New releases, 2015 releases

Related artist(s): Juha Kujanpää

More info
http://eclipsemusicrecordlabel.bandcamp.com/album/kultasiipi-goldwing

Latest news

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more

2020-06-14
Keith Tippett RIP – One of the giants of British jazz has left us. Keith Graham Tippetts, known professionally as Keith Tippett, died today at the age of 72. His work from the late 60s into the 70s and beyond includes some of the greatest jazz produced in the UK, and stands as an impressive oevre to this day. » Read more

2020-05-15
Phil May of The Pretty Things RIP – We were saddened to learn that Phil May, lead singer and founding member of The Pretty Things, has died at the age of 75. The band's 1968 album S.F. Sorrow is one of the enduring classics of the psychedelic era, and the group existed in various forms until finally retiring in 2018. » Read more

2020-05-14
Jorge Santana RIP – Jorge Santana, noted guitarist, leader of the band Malo and brother to Carlos Santana, died on May 14 at the age of 68. Jorge and Carlos worked together on a number of occasions, though Jorge's career was centered around Malo, solo work, and with Fania All-Stars. » Read more

2020-05-06
Florian Schneider RIP – Florian Schneider, one of the founders of the pioneering electronic group Kraftwerk, has died at the age of 73. Co-founder Ralf Hütter announced that his bandmate had passed away from cancer after a brief illness. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Roger Chapman - The Legendary Funny Cider Sessions/Swag – Family’s Roger Chapman is somewhat of a workaholic. His departure from Family only saw him tirelessly fronting bands under a number of other names including his own. This package of two albums...  (2005) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues