ORRENMAA BAND
Make My Day
(To Records)

 

It only took 35+ years, but two reigning kings of jazz-rock fusion—Billy Cobham and Pekka Pohjola—join forces on the 2009 CD release of Make My Day. An excellent intro to the music of guitarist Tuppu Orrenmaa, and recorded in Helsinki, the 2008 recording of Make My Day album by the Orrenmaa Band features Orrenmaa, Pohjola, Cobham and a host of other gifted players blazing away on an upbeat, sometimes rocking, sometimes funky / jazzy, supercharged instrumental power fusion album that also benefits from the uptown edge of the Tower Of Power horns. A relatively unknown guitarist here in the U.S. but one who has a track record in his native Finland, Tuppu clearly channels the sonic powers of Cobham and of course Pekka Pohjolaone of the leading, classic ‘70s European fusion pioneers who specialized in complex, supremely melodic rock orchestrations that often featured full horn sections and orchestral strings. The pairing of Orrenmaa’s well crafted electric guitar work and compositions with Cobham’s incredible drumming skills and Pohjola’s astonishing bass licks makes for an unforgettable jazz-rock experience. Commenting on working with such illustrious jazz fusion heroes, Tuppu adds, 'Cobham's Spectrum and Mahavishnu's Birds Of Fire have been my favourite albums since I was a teenager. I have always also admired Pekka Pohjola's music and his unique way thinking of composing fusion music.' Tuppu's guitar work is exemplary throughout the CD. Speaking about his gear he adds, 'My main guitar is modified Peavey T60, which I've played since 1979. I also use Roland GR 700 (same as Metheny and McLaughlin use) guitar synthesizer when arranging horn and keyboard parts for my tunes. In some tunes in a studio situation I also use my Guild Starfire semi-hollow-body 12 string electric guitar.' Several other key Finnish musicians take part including Pekka Pohjola’s son Verneri Pohjola (trumpet) and keyboardist Pekka Tyni, who’s brother Seppo Tyni was one of Pohjola’s finest recording guitarists. There is however a dark cloud to this silver lining. The set closing nearly 13 minute “Heavy Pop” is dedicated to Pekka Pohjola, who sadly passed away after recording the album, at the age of 56 on November 27, 2008. A shame this took way so long to become a reality, especially for Cobham fans from the Mahavishnu Orchestra days and those who thrilled to Pekka’s instrumental classical rock albums. With this much vital musical energy released to the cosmos in his name, I’m sure Pekka is smiling down from heaven today. www.myspace.com/tuppuorrenmaa

 

 
   
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