Recommended: Katu Kaiku – “Tokyo/Kuopio”


Katu Kaiku - "Tokyo Kuopio"On their debut Tokyo/Kuopio, the Finnish Trio Katu Kaiku roll out thick melodies that ring with clarity, and by making them the centerpiece of each tune, it frees up the saxophone-drums-bass trio to counter it with any number of divergent rhythmic patterns.  Tracks like “Well Well Wells” and “Cherry Blossom” pour the melody out at different speeds, but each makes it easy to follow from the source of the river to its mouth.  The former shows an angrier side, but even the flurries of staggered percussion and sharp dissonance don’t diminish the strength of the melody.  The latter values structure and focus, and it pays off with an appealing tunefulness.  And in both instances, the bass arco of Mikael Saastamoinen provides some welcome texture to the luxuriant melodicism of saxophonist Adele Sauros.

“Supernova” continues the trend of a heavy melodic presence, and the way it erupts with volatility and dissonance is further evidence of how the trio is freed by those thick melodies, not anchored to them.  And both “Last Minute at the Disco” and “My First Hit Song” are examples of how the trio is able to exploit the rhythmic possibilities of their melodic approach without necessarily having to roam far home base.  Most tracks fall into the modern tradition, but drummer Erik Fräki and bassist Saastamoinen bring some swing on the warm, upbeat tune “Wayne Was Here.”

A very fun album.

Your album personnel:  Erik Fräki (drums), Adele Sauros (saxophones) and Mikael Saastamoinen (double bass).

The album is Self-Produced.

Listen to more of the album on the artist’s Soundcloud page.

Jazz from the Helsinki, Finland scene.

Available at:  Amazon | eMusic