PEKKA POHJOLA
Flight Of The Angel
(Pohjola / Breakthru')

 

He’s often remembered for his early '70s efforts as a member of Finland's foremost rock group, Wigwam, and a series of exceptional 1970's solo albums. Not surprisingly, the most ardent fans of Pekka Pohjola will gladly inform you that it's his five '80s albums which best captures the flair of this innovative musician. With a catalog containing over 15 brilliant solo albums recorded over the past 30 years, Pekka Pohjola remains one of Europe's premier jazz-rock bassists and is still clearly among the most influential and noteworthy composers in the entire progressive music field. In the aftermath of his pivotal late 1980 masterpiece Kätkävaaran Lohikäärme, Pekka recorded three highly acclaimed solo albums released on his own record label, Pohjola Records. These three eventful recordings - Urban Tango (1982), Everyman (1984) and Space Waltz (1985) - were released simultaneously in Finland and the U.S.A. to tremendous critical acclaim. Which brings us to the CD in your hands - Pekka Pohjola's fifth and final group album of the '80s, Flight Of The Angel. One of the great instrumental rock albums of all time, the 1987 release of Flight Of The Angel spotlights expert performances from all the musicians involved with Pohjola's peerless electric bass work and orchestral rock compositions providing a sound backdrop. Pulling out all the stops, guitarist Seppo Tyni once again demonstrates how he earned a reputation as one of the leading electric guitarists in Finland. Echoing their smashing performances on Everyman and Space Waltz, drumming ace Keimo Hirvonen provides a rock-solid beat, while the multilayered, synthesizer-keyboard accompaniment from the great Jussi Liski and Timo Vesajoki puts the shine on a timeless group recording. Several clear cut examples of Pekka's rare melodic gift include the ethereal sounding title track, "Flight Of The Angel" and the stunning album-closer, "Beauty And The Beast". Both songs unearth a treasure of heavy symphonic rock abounding with the sounds of strings and hot brass. To counterbalance the album's progressive and neoclassical frames of mind, both the peppy leadoff track "How About Today?" and the hot-blooded intensity of "Pressure" proves that Pohjola's group can rock out with the best of them. The album's centerpiece - a haunting grand piano solo, bursting with intense dynamics - "Il Carillon" is performed here by Pekka's cousin Lisa Pohjola. As this 2002 CD reissue points out, 15 years after it’s debut release, Flight Of The Angel still presents a most illuminating listening experience. During the early 1990’s, Changing Waters and the 1997 masterpiece Pewit renewed interest with long time Pohjola fans while the 2001 release of Views is the latest chapter in the career of a celebrated sound sculptor who still continues to amaze his fans. Coming around full circle at the dawn of a new century, Pekka Pohjola, 50 years young on January 13, 2002, is primed to bring his incomparable blend of symphonic instrumental jazz-rock back into focus once again.

Original CD liner notes written by Robert Silverstein November, 1997
Updated liner notes for second CD remaster written by Robert Silverstein January, 2002

Robert Silverstein was CD reviews editor with 20th Century Guitar magazine from 1998 till the magazine closed in January 2009. Currently Robert is the publisher of WWW.MWE3.COM - an online CD review and music website formed in 1999 and based in New York City. Robert Silverstein is also available for writing liner notes...maybe for your next CD or DVD.

 

 
   
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