Jukka Tolonen — The Hook
(Love Records LRCD 113, 1974/2004, CD)
Jukka Tolonen — Hysterica
(Love Records LRCD 149, 1975/2004, CD)
by Steve Robey, Published 1997-02-01
Tolonen is a Finnish guitarist who spent the early 70s toiling with the progressive band Tasavallan Presidenti. After leaving that band, he put out a series of obscure but very worthwhile solo albums. The Hook and Hysterica are his third and fourth, and are available now as a twofer on this exciting new CD.
Musically, Jukka Tolonen occupies much of the same territory as the likes of Jeff Beck, with funky instrumentals supported by beautiful guitar work. However, these two albums immediately grabbed me by going several steps beyond the typical fusion-instrumental format. Each song employs a surprise or two: a head-turning sax or flute solo, an eye-widening guitar freakout, or some other unconventional performance. My first impression leads me to make comparisons to the Danish band Secret Oyster. That is the only other band that I have heard that puts so much creativity and introspectiveness into the potentially sterile domain of fusion music.
From start to finish, these two albums have a lot of heart, and they'll grow on you. I can't single out any single track, since each is unique in its own way, and each is somehow great. The re-release of these two albums from the mid-70s is the uncovering of a lost treasure. Dig in and dig it.
[The 2-on-1 reviewed here has since been superceded by individual reissues of the two albums. - ed.]
First ProgStock Festival Set for October – October 2017 will see the inaugural edition of a festival called ProgStock in Rahway, New Jersey at the Union County Performing Arts Center. With a definite slant towards neo-progressive music, the event is sure to please many fans with the inclusion of such artists as Echolyn, Glass Hammer, and Aisles. The festival will take place October 13-15. » Read more
Clive Brooks RIP – Word reaches us today of another sad passing in the music world. Drummer Clive Brooks, best known as a member of such Canterbury bands as Egg, Uriel / Arzachel, and Groundhogs, has died at the age of 67. Details are sketchy at this point. The news was reported on Nick Mason's Facebook page — Brooks was Mason's drum tech. » Read more
Col. Bruce Hampton RIP – The phrase "He died doing what he loved" is almost a cliche, but in the case of Col. Bruce Hampton, it couldn't be more true. Hampton, who was born Gustav Berglund III, collapsed on stage at his own 70th birthday celebration and later passed away. The event took place at the Fox Theater in Atlanta. » Read more
ProgDay 2017 Announces First Bands – Flor de Loto, Sonar, and Infinien are the first three performers to be announced for the 2017 edition of the long-running ProgDay Festival. The 23rd ProgDay takes place Saturday and Sunday, September 2nd and 3rd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. » Read more