Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Pekka Pohjola - PIHKASILMÄ KAARNAKORVA (1972)

While many seem to think of this debut as a rather mediocre effort (in Pohjola's standards), I truly believe it is his second best album, after the brilliant Harakka Bialoipokku. Pihkasilmä Kaarnakorva was my introduction to Pohjola, and thus has some nostalgic values as well. That is not the reason why I rate this album so highly, though. It is amazing how coherent this album is, considering the age of the main performer. Pohjola, still a member of Wigwam at this time, did this album at the age of 20. I'm fully aware of the fact that this is not the most original album to walk the face of earth - The Zappa-esque leanings are quite evident, but the indisputable quality of the compositions here still manages to stun me. Admittedly, Pihkasilmä Kaarnakorva is hardly flawless. The album opener "Metsonpeliä" starts promisingly enough, but soon becomes rather tedious when we have to listen to Pohjola's bass solo for five minutes. He's a fine bassist, no doubt, but this part of the song seems rather pointless, if you ask me. The classical leanings are strong, especially if you listen to the pianos - which are one of the main instruments here. The compositions are full of subtle, little details that'll surprise you time after time. While the music is complex, it becomes surprisingly catchy and easy on the ears by the time you've listened to this album for the 5-10th time. The only thing that slightly bothers me about this album, is "Nipistys". Now, don't get me wrong, it is one of my favorite Pohjola compositions, but the version here is much inferior to the one Wigwam used to play on their gigs. In many ways, this is Pohjola's most complex and ambitious album. It is not a success in every level, but it is a mightily fine effort from one of the pioneers of Finnish progressive music. Strongly recommended to anyone interested in the jazzy side of prog. For those who've heard Pohjola's compositions in Wigwam - if you liked those, I bet you'll love this one. I know I do.PEKKA POHJOLA Pihkasilmä Kaarnakorva music reviews and MP3 ( Review from progarchives.com)

Songs / Tracks Listing
1. Metsonpeliä ~ Capercaillie games (10:33)
2. Virtojen kiharat ~ Curls of streams (5:28)
3. Armoton idylli ~ Merciless idyll (3:47)
4. Nipistys ~ Pinch (3:32)
5. Valittaja ~ Complainer (10:22)

Total Time: 33:42

Line-up / Musicians
- Pekka Pohjola / bass, violins, piano, final organ
- Jukka Gustavson / organ, piano
- Reino Laine / drums
- Risto Pensola / clarinet
- Pekka Pöyry / soprano sax, flute




Download mp3
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